Council approves funding for Party in the Park event

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By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a funding request from the GWBA, a change in date for the Homestead Festival and heard a report from the Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center.

Council approved a funding request from the Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) of $6000 for a Party in the Park event. According to GWBA president Robin Tucker, the one day event will be held on Saturday June 6 in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park and will feature five or six bands.

The event includes free entertainment and activities for children along with food and drinks. The funding was approved unanimously.

Council also approved moving the date of the Homestead festival which has been held the first week of October, to coincide with a VW campout event which is held the second weekend in September. The two events will be held on Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12. Organizer Rebecca McKinney said she believes it will be a good fit for both events. McKinney also said the Palmetto Area Farmers Market will be held on Thursdays from 4-7 beginning in May and run through October.

Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center board member Thomas Addison reported the PACAC has done fundraising and has received some pledges. He said a dinner event in December “went very well”.

Addison said the center has involved as many as 1600 people during the first year of operations and has been able to “pretty much pay our own way.”

The organization has provided a variety of music, theater and art camps. Addison said they hope to eventually make facility improvements, possibly including air conditioning, to allow use and rental of the facility during the summer months.

There was some discussion about review and inspection of a design/build trail project. Council approved up to $500 for a third party inspection of the Mineral Spring Trail project when it is constructed.

Council also approved second reading on false fire alarms which provides for fines on recurring false alarms.

Council approved the donation of a small lot which will allow a temporary access road to be constructed into the Gatewood Subdivision.

The lot being donated is owned by Hill Side Properties LLC and is located at 14 Ridgecourt. Mahyor Durham said an easement is being worked out with Cushman Milliken Company on another property and along with town owned property, will allow the temporary access road into the subdivision.

Council also approved funding of $561.92 for new lighting in the renovated long shed in Mineral Spring Park.

There was considerable discussion about the town’s smoking ordinance and the effects on a local E-cig business.

Council voted 4-1on a change in wording in the ordinance. Councilman Burgess was opposed citing problems with the ordinance taking away individual freedoms and liberties.

Mayor Durham said the original ordinance was approved with the intent “to preserve our community as a smoke free community.”