Funding approved for Born Learning trail

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By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a learning trail project, updated police department procedures and authorized the fire department to begin searching for a new transport vehicle. The town’s new Main St. SC Executive Director Caroline Alex was also introduced at the meeting.

Alex, who officially began her duties Dec. 2, said she is looking forward to meeting people in the community and to begin “working and growing Williamston.”

Council approved $1500 in funding for a Born Learning Trail to be located in Mineral Spring Park. The project, sponsored by Leadership Anderson and the United Way, provides an interactive play and learning trail which includes ten activity stations where parents and caregivers can interact with young children for fun learning opportunities. The funding will come from Hospitality Tax monies.

Tony Garcia, a retired FBI agent working with the police department, updated council on the recent Festival of Unity. The event was to bring the hispanic community together and to recognize them as part of the Williamston community, Garcia said.

Approximately 200 to 400 people attended the event. According to Garcia they were “proud to be there” and “very appreciative.”

Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison reported that the new brush truck is now in service and will be in upcoming West Pelzer and Williamston Christmas parades. He also reported that the department is participating in Active 911 with the Sheriff’s office.

The interactive web based program uses smart phones to show where firefighters are located, how many firefighters are responding to a call and it sends a map to each firefighter to direct them to a call.

Ellison also asked Council to allow the fire department to use the $12,000 received in the sale of the old brush truck toward the purchase of a newer transport vehicle. Ellison said the Chevrolet Tahoe the department currently uses to travel to training classes, assist EMS and for fire inspections is “very worn out and needs to be replaced.”

The request was approved 4-0 with councilman David Harvell abstaining because he is a member of the fire department.

Council unanimously approved an updated policy and procedures manual for the police department.

Council unanimously agreed to change the franchise fee ordinance to a consistent five percent on cable services. The change will raise the cable franchise fee for AT&T to five percent. Charter is already paying five percent. The franchise fee is tacked on to residents’ cable bill and is collected by the provider and sent to the town.

It was announced that the Williamston Cemetery Committee will hold a candlelight service at the cemetery at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 12. The Williamston Christmas parade will be held at 3 p.m. on Dec. 14.