Williamston Town Council briefs

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By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a property annexation, agreed to a lease of the armory for an arts center and entertained funding requests for various events.

Annexation – At the start of the regular meeting, Council held a public hearing to annex property into the town. No one commented concerning the petition filed by Family Dollar Stores . Council later approved second reading on the annexation of the property located at 1505 Anderson Drive.

Council heard updates and reports from eight different entities.

Recognition – Dianne Lollis and Mayor Mack Durham recognized the Williamston Motorcycle group for their help in getting toys and food for 94 children and five families during the holidays.

Main St. Program – Williamston Main St. Executive Director Caroline Alex updated council on the program.

Alex said committee members will receive training with Main St. SC representatives next week and that a branding charette will be held in April or May.

Text alert – Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor spoke on the new Nixle text alert system the department has initiated. Anyone in the area can sign up for the program by dialing 888777 and then putting in the Williamston zip code 29697.

Sign ordinance – Councilman Rockey Burgess said the town attorney is working on changes to the town’s sign ordinance which should be presented at the April meeting.

Community safety – Councilman David Harvell reported that the fire department is working with the Career and Technology Center on a fire training program. The police department is looking into establishing a law enforcement explorer training program and the police department and other agencies will be conducting an active shooter training exercise at Palmetto High School.

Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison reported that the department is working on an explorer program which needs town approval. The program will begin training and recruiting for members under the age of 18. The program is sanctioned through the Boy Scouts Explorer program.

Town cleanup – Councilman Otis Scott reported that the town will begin a cleanup program on Mar. 31 starting in Ward 1.

A door hanger notice will be posted at homes in each ward one week before the cleanup pickup, Scott said. Four churches, New Prospect Baptist, HillCrest Baptist, Trinity Baptist and Grace United Methodist, have offered volunteers to help with the program.

Armory lease – Representatives of the Palmetto Cultural Arts Center presented information plans on the new program. (See separate story)

Information was also presented on five year revenue projections from the establishment of the Cultural Arts Center.

Council was considering a memorandum of understanding to lease the armory building to the Palmetto Cultural Arts Center, which they did approve.

Funding requests – Council tabled a request for funding for the Spring Water Festival; postponed a request for funding for an Easter weekend event and approved a funding request by the Defenders Motorcycle Club for a first responders recognition event in the park.

The group requested $350 from the town to help pay for a band to perform at the event.

Council approved October 4 as the date for a Homestead Festival in Mineral Spring Park.

Zoning – Council also approved first reading amending the zoning ordinance to allow fuel stations in Highway Commercial zoned property.