Proposed Ribbon Annexation back on the table in Williamston

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Vote Thursday morning

By David Meade

The Town of Williamston will hold a special called meeting this Thursday morning (July 16) at 7:30 a.m. to hold second reading on the ribbon annexation of 13 properties. Mayor Mack Durham said he and Councilman David Harvell, along with Town Attorney Lee Cole, met with representatives of ten of the property owners Tuesday to discuss proceeding with the proposed strip annexation.

Mayor Durham said the meeting may include a video conference with several council members who will be on their way to a State Municipal meeting being held in Hilton Head this week. Durham said the town plans to proceed with the ribbon annexation and that the property owners that attended the meeting Monday are on board.

Williamston Town Council unanimously approved first reading on the ribbon annexation on June 1, one week before the Pelzer annexation referendum vote was held, and approved, on June 9.

One week later, instead of holding second reading, the issue was tabled when most of the property owners that would be affected opted out.

According to one of the property owners, almost every one of the 13 property owners decided at that time they did not want to be a part of the Williamston strip or ribbon annexation stating that “it went too far” into the Pelzer area.

The ribbon annexation will cut the area being incorporated into Pelzer, (defined as the Pelzer voting precinct) almost in half.

If approved, it will block Pelzer’s annexation of the old Sky City shopping center and other businesses along Hwy. 20 to the intersection at Hwy. 8. The move will also block properties adjacent along Depot Road from the Pelzer annexation by making them non contiguous.

Williamston’s ribbon annexation will include just a 10 foot strip across each of the properties, forming a ribbon around them.

The ribbon annexation includes property contiguous to four properties annexed last year by Williamston in anticipation of the unofficially announced Walmart store location on Roberts Blvd. and Hwy. 20.

The 13 properties are located along Hwy. 20, beginning at the Fred’s store, to Hwy. 8 at Pelzer, the Life Journey Church property, then along a large property tract adjacent to the mill village and Courtney Street which has already opted out of the Pelzer referendum as a large agricultural tract.

It includes a new residence, Ashmore’s and Heatherly’s Garage on Courtney Street which are water customers served by the town of Williamston.

When the ribbon annexation was first presented, Mayor Durham said he was trying to help the Depot Road residents and the 13 property owners who did not want to be included in the Pelzer annexation.

Many of the Depot Road residents also have water service provided by the Town of Williamston.

Pelzer Mayor Steve McGregor said Monday that he and Mayor Durham have attempted to have a meeting over the past two weeks but had been unsuccessful. He said Pelzer plans to proceed with second reading on their annexation on Monday, July 20.

The Town of Pelzer will have a special called meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. at town hall for second reading of the annexation ordinance.

See proposed area of ribbon annexation – Area is outlined in purple

Williamston takes steps to keep property from being included in Pelzer annexation