Community Development Corporation being formed to help access grants

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In West Pelzer

By Stan Welch – West Pelzer Town Council agreed unanimously Monday night to create the GoWest Community Development Corporation (CDC) to provide the town with a funneling agency for grants that would otherwise remain unavailable to the town.

Mayor Blake Sanders presented a resolution to create the tax exempt entity which will enable the town to seek and receive grant funds provided by programs maintained and operated by such corporate entities as Duke Energy and Waste Management, both of which have provided funding to other towns in the area.

“I have spoken with representatives of these donors, and they assure me that they are interested in providing similar funding for future projects in West Pelzer. There are also other funding sources available, but the key is to have a tax exempt community development corporation established to make the process possible.”

Sanders explained that the makeup of the CDC’s board of directors will be the same as that of the Town Council. “That way we keep the process streamlined, and everyone will be fully informed at all times,” he said.

The expense of establishing the CDC will be a filing fee with the Secretary of State of one hundred twenty five dollars. The bylaws will be drawn up and presented to the town council at the April meeting.

The Mayor also accepted a check for $2,500 to be used for recreational purposes from Rep. Mike Gambrell. Gambrell presented the check on behalf of Senator Billy O’Dell, who secured the funds but unexpectedly passed away in January before he could present the check.

Gambrell is one of several candidates for the special election to fill Senator O’Dell’s seat later this month.

Earlier, Piedmont Fire Department Chief Tracy Wallace received a check for $1,000 from Rep. Gambrell as well. It too was earmarked for recreational use.

In other business, Andy Gambrell asked for a delay in his pending appointment to the planning board, saying that he needed a little more time to fully explore his responsibilities. “If I commit to doing this, it will be a commitment that I take seriously. I’d just like to make myself fully aware of what the job entails.”

Mayor Sanders also reminded everyone that the town will hold its Spring Cleanup on March 18, from 9 a.m. till noon.

Police Chief Mike Clardy announced the readiness of the town’s recently purchased police cruiser for marking and striping, adding that Councilman Johnny Rogers had been of great assistance in aiding with the project.

The Chief also announced Officer Chris Brewer’s nomination as Police Officer of the Year due to his professional handling of a home invasion and triple kidnapping incident last year.

Rep. Anne Thayer will be the guest speaker at a Crime Watch meeting on April 5th at 6:30 p.m. At Town Hall.