Pelzer residents thrilled with annexation

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By David Meade

In a special called meeting held Saturday morning at Pelzer Town Hall, Mayor Steve McGregor and Councilmembers Cheryl Beaudreau and Donna Ide approved second and final reading on the ordinance to annex the Pelzer voting pricinct.

A long time resident of Pelzer, now officially a new resident of the new town, Duane Wilson said he had waited a long time to see it happen and was glad that it finally did.

“I am really glad to see the annexation finally passed after all of these years,” Wilson said. “I want to thank everybody’s effort to make it happen. It has been a long road. It is a good start, with everybody working together, Williamston and West Pelzer, to be a great destination to many people. It is definitely a long time overdue.”

Wilson said. “The most important thing is having a vote, a voice to be heard after all these years. We now have the opportunity to run for office and to make a difference. This is very, very important for the town of Pelzer.”

Councilmember Cheryl Beaudreau said, “I couldn’t be happier. We deserve it.” Beaudreau said, “The sky is the limit. If we can do this after so many years of trying, we can come together and do a lot.”

Pelzer native Gilbert Garrett has been very instrumental in helping the annexation process move forward. His property was brought into the town at his request more than a year before the annexation referendum was held.

“I think it is going to be a really good day for the people of Pelzer,” Garrett said. “For the town and it will bring jobs with opportunity for Pelzer, for them to have good long lives here. It will help make Pelzer a good place to live, work and play.”

Garrett acknowledged it will take some time. “It will take a lot of work to accomplish that. We’ll get it done.”

Roger Scott said, “I think it’s a great day. It is wonderful. Now we can move forward. I want to thank everybody involved that helped.”

Town officials were joined for the historic moment by Pelzer Attorney Jimmy King, Pelzer Administrator Skip Watkins and residents of the newly incorporated town, Duane and Kim Wilson, Gilbert Garrett, Jimmy Harrison, Roger Scott and John Roache.

Mayor McGregor said, “History was made today. It has been a long time coming.”

In addition to being a historic event for Pelzer, the event was also historic for South Carolina.

“It is the first time in the state’s history that the 25 percent method was used to bring a majority into a small town,” McGregor said. “Sixty three years ago the town was incorporated with four streets. It was incorporated this day to include the whole village. It’s a good day for Pelzer.”

McGregor said the next step for the town will involve “a lot of planing.”

“There will be lot of work starting now,” he said. “We are going to be constructive and have to move forward.”

The historic vote was taken during a special called meetingCouncil on Saturday July 18, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at Pelzer Town Hall.

The mayor and two councilmembers unanimously approved second reading on Ordinance #2015-003 pertaining to the vote on annexation of the Pelzer voting precinct that was conducted on June 9.

After a brief executive session to discuss an offer on property the town has for sale, council returned to open session and unanimously voted to reject the offer.