Projects, annexation top discussion in Pelzer

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By Stan Welch

The Pelzer Town Council met Friday (Aug. 9). A report from members of the Heritage Commission revealed that the first phase of the brownfields assessment is back on track at the upper and lower mill sites. A voluntary cleanup contract should be in place by sometime in October. Other cleanup grant monies are expected to become available in the future as well.

One plan for the future includes redoing the old mill office as a textile museum, as well as possibly adding a restaurant to attract visitors. Larry Coker pointed out that both asbestos and lead based paints pose both health issues and environmental ones, in terms of removal and disposal. He remained optimistic however, saying, “Once we have the property in our hands and free of the liability issues, we can begin to take baby steps towards making something of this 72 acre site that our town can be proud of.”

Dianne Lollis reported that the Heritage Commission had recently placed two additional markers in the old cemetery near the Monkey Park. Concerns over vandalism and crime at the park led the Council to invite Rocky Burgess, owner of Autech, Inc. to make a proposal for surveillance cameras at the location.

Burgess explained the capabilities of the system, as well as the shortcomings. He pitched them a simple but usable system at a very low price. Council voted unanimously to spend $1300 for a three camera system. The Heritage Commission also agreed to pay half the costs of installing and maintaining the system.

Those same concerns about crime have spurred yet another attempt to organize a crime watch in the area. Cheryl Boudreau, councilwoman, announced a neighborhood watch meeting with ACSO officials to be held this week. “I know this has been tried before but crime is so bad in this area that I think we may be able to get organized this time.

It was also announced that annexation experts from the Municipal Association will be in town on August 22 at 11:00 a.m. at the community building. They will discuss annexation and answer any questions and answers that the public might have.