Pelzer Council continues with annexation issues

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By Stan Welch

The Pelzer Town Council giveth, and the Pelzer Town Council taketh away, at least where annexation is concerned.

Council gave second and final reading approval to the ordinance annexing the Pelzer Church of God, which will extend the town limits to Old River Road on the north side of Highway 20. That addition will also make it possible to annex properties in the upper mill area that are now contiguous to the town.

The Council also gave second and final reading approval to the rescinding of the annexation ordinance that had added four pieces of town property and the residential site of Roger Scott to the town earlier this year. A question was later raised concerning whether those properties were contiguous and therefore eligible for annexation.

Scott has stated that, under state law, if no one contests an annexation in 60 days, it becomes official. Scott says, and the town concedes, that the sixty day period passed. Mayor Steve McGregor said at Friday’s meeting that Jeff Shacker, field service manager for the Municipal Association of South Carolina, will be coming to town to meet with town officials and Scott to discuss the issue.

McGregor said that the situation in Pelzer is unique. “Jeff reminded me that six hundred people wanting to annex thirty four is nothing new, but thirty four wanting to annex six hundred is quite a different proposition.”

During citizens’ comments, Gilbert Garrett, who has been active in promoting annexation, asked about the residency requirement to run for office or vote in town elections, and was told that thirty days was the required period.

He also raised the question of a possible agreement between the West Pelzer police and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office to provide police services to the Pelzer area.

Mayor McGregor reminded the Council and those in attendance that at one time, the mills that made the towns both possible and necessary had provided such services, as well as water and sewer. “Of course those mills are gone and those services fall to us. We are really just getting started on figuring so many of these things out. We need to annex and build a tax base, because, like it or not, taxes and ordinances are going to be in our future.”