West Pelzer approves bond for town hall property purchase


By Stan Welch

The creation of a new town hall and police department moved one step closer during a special called meeting Tuesday night, as the West Pelzer Town Council gave first reading approval for the issuance of a general obligation bond in the amount of $139,000.

Since the price of the old NAPA auto parts store is ninety five thousand dollars, that will leave approximately forty four thousand dollars to begin the renovations and upgrades that will be necessary. Significant upgrades in the mechanical systems of the building will be required, as well as a new roof.

The building will house the town hall, the police department and the water department, as well as the municipal court. The financing scheme will also involve the use of the remaining balance of contingency funds currently being held in abeyance until the completion of the phase two sewer project. Sanders said that the latest estimate on how much of that money will be left when the project winds down in the coming weeks is approximately $75,000.

The release of those funds would have to be formally applied for and approved by the RDA. But Sanders says that ample precedent exists for such a re-allocation of funds, and he anticipates no obstacle.

The town budget also includes a source of funds for capital improvement, and it may be tapped as well, if needed.

Also there is an additional $28,000 which was provided by County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson to be used for paving the parking lot between the building and Chapman Park, as well as paving a connecting drive which would create the link between Main Street and Hindman Street.

The current town hall is approximately 1400 square feet and houses the town offices, the police department, the municipal court and the mayor’s office. The new location is almost three times that size, at 4000 square feet, and will also accommodate the water and sewer department.

The Council, without Donnie Jeanes being present, voted three to one to issue the bond. A second reading will take place at the next regular meeting of Council.

The Council also accepted several items from various presenters during Tuesday night’s meeting. Senator Mike Gambrell and Representative Anne Thayer were on hand to present new flags for the town’s flagpole. Ms. Faye Meares, vice president of the Palmetto Business Association presented Mayor Blake Sanders with a check for two thousand dollars. That amount matches the amount set aside by the town for its facade improvement program, a program designed to help business owners improve the appearance of their locations.

Ms. Monique Gambrell reported that she had obtained a promise from the BiLo supermarket to provide thirty pumpkins for the pumpkin carving contest to be held during the town’s Fall Festival on October 29. Town clerk Paula Payton announced that a water bill, preferably a paid one, would be required to verify residence in West Pelzer in order to receive a pumpkin to carve.

Pastor Bobby Winburn, of Restoration Chapel, presented the town with a box of Tee shirts, to be embossed with the town seal and to be worn by town officials and employees during public events, such as the Fall Festival. He also reminded the Council that Restoration Chapel will hold its annual Day of Honor on September 18, beginning at 10:45. The day honors first responders and law enforcement, as well as public officials for their service to their communities. Senator Billy O’Dell, who passed away earlier this year, will be honored his year.

County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, while not present, was mentioned and thanked for her support of the Fall Festival in the amount of thirty five hundred dollars.