Group organizes to address Pelzer issues

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A group of people interested in the future of Pelzer met Thursday evening at the Pelzer community building to talk about crime, police protection, annexation and other issues affecting Pelzer. Larry Coker, who grew up in Pelzer and is a member of the Pelzer Heritage Commission, said that the focus of the meeting was to form a committee to look into the issues, especially annexation.

Coker told approximately twenty people in attendance that when they began talking with people about becoming a part of the town, they needed to be able to “give people a reason” to want to be a part of the town.

Coker said that many people are scared of taxes that they think will come with being in the town limits, but current residents inside the town do not pay taxes. They pay for water and sewer, he said, which is what the residents of the mill village also pay.

There was discussion on annexation processes.

West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton explained that West Pelzer had annexed some properties and town staff did the necessary paperwork without additional costs of surveys or attorney fees.

Gilbert Garrett explained what he had found out from the State Municipal Assocation about the process.

“We are all ingnorant here, he said. “We are trying to figure this out.”

Garett recently requested that his residence be annexed into the town of Pelzer and was told that the cost would be about $2500.

Garrett said that he was told a plat and deed were ninetyeight percent of what is needed to annex property.

A number of those in attendance said they were interested in having property annexed into the town and almost all wanted something done about the crime and drugs.

One person said that the town was an “outlaw town becoming like tombstone with shootings and other crime.”

Captain Hill of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office answered questions and explained the crime watch program the department is involved in.

Citizens signed up to be on a committee and to be a part of a crime watch program.