Pelzer Heritage to receive grants to help with cleanup

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Through Anderson County/State

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council reviewed and approved a number of bids for equipment, services, and accepted a number of grants at their meeting Tuesday.

One of the grants, in the amount of $60,000 will be awarded to the Pelzer Heritage Commission. The grant requires a twenty per cent match, which is being met by the county. Pelzer Heritage Commission will also receive an additional $250,000 from the state’s revolving loan program. Those funds will be used to complete the clean up of the old Pelzer mill sites.

The Council also voted to accept several hundred thousand dollars in Homeland Security grants, for the purchase of equipment and materials related to emergency management and rapid response to possible terrorist threats. Councilman Ken Waters spoke in favor of accepting the funds, which some Council members opposed on the philosophical grounds that grant funds are derived from taxpayers, regardless of which government dispenses the grants.

Councilman Francis Crowder spoke about his concerns over taking so much money to prepare for something that might happen and might not.

District Four Councilman and retired U.S. Army officer, Tom Allen expressed sympathy with that viewpoint, but added that the next county in line would gladly take the funds. “If the government stopped all grants, I might have a different viewpoint. And as for whether Anderson is at risk, who knows? Personally, I think that smaller attacks in the heartland of the country instill more fear than attacks on big cities. You almost expect things to happen in New York or Chicago or L.A. Until it happened, who would have though San Bernardino or LeCoste, Wisconsin would have been the targets of terrorists?”

Eventually the Council voted unanimously to accept the funds.

Council also voted to accept more than five million dollars in funds to be used in building approximately a mile and a half of roadway to access the TTI distribution center being built alongside the Betsy Tucker industrial site at the intersection of Highway 81 and Interstate 85. The road will be lighted and landscaped. The funds are from the state, and the road was promised to the manufacturer and distributor of Ryobi power tools as part of an incentive package offered to attract them to the area.

The Council voted to move their first January meeting from the traditional first Monday to the second Monday, due to some schedule conflicts with various members.