Council discusses projects during work session

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By Stan Welch

Mayor Mack Durham and the Williamston Town Council met Tuesday night to shape and polish the agenda for next week’s Council meeting.

Several concerns and issues were raised by members of the council. Councilman Rockey Burgess reported that he is having difficulty in getting bids on some work to be done at the long shed at the Mineral Spring Park. The shed actually has a ceiling, and bats have roosted in the enclosed area, making guano a real problem.

Burgess said the job is in the gray area between too big for fly by night contractors who don’t have the necessary insurance and other documentation and being too small for a larger contractor to bother with. The ceiling needs to be removed and the shed pressure washed. Burgess has volunteered his labor to install new lighting as well. Mayor Durham offered to seek bids.

Mayor Durham also reported that the Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) is reorganizing, which is causing some delays in funding of various project, including the rather large culvert replacement at Gatewood. Durham said that the ACTC is going to start handling the engineering on future projects themselves, making it redundant and wasteful for the Town to engage an engineer.

ACTC chairman Ronnie Townsend and the Mayor visited the site and discussed the problem, and Durham said that Townsend expressed a willingness to appear before the Council and make a presentation. The Council agreed that such a presentation would be helpful, and that the mayor should accept Townsend’s offer.

Councilman Tony Hagood, at the Mayor’s request, agreed to meet with David Rogers about a new location for the dumpster at Brookdale Park. The current location is problematic in picking up and emptying the dumpster.

It was noted that the preliminary survey work for the next phase of the Streetscape program is underway, and the project is expected to be completed in sixty days. The Palmetto High School AFJROTC has informed the Town that they will not perform a march to the Veterans Memorial on November 11, when a wreath is traditionally placed at the memorial. The Council will gather instead to place a wreath for Veterans Day.

Mayor Durham also reported that, despite three different requests for bids on the Town’s proposed walking and bicycle trail, no viable bids have been received. “All the bids are half again as much as we have in grant money, and I just can’t see us putting in another fifty thousand dollars. So I suggest we consider going with a natural surface for the trail for this grant cycle, and apply again in the next cycle. Then we can pave the surface.”

On November 13, at the Municipal Center, there will be a job fair/ training program sponsored by HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence). A number of organizations and entities, including TriCounty Tech is supporting the effort, which will train people in a variety of jobs, which are expected to pay between $12 and $18 an hour. The fair will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The annual lighting of the Christmas Park will take place on November 29. The regular monthly meeting of Williamston Town Council will be held Monday at 6 p.m.