Williamston Council approves standard operating guidelines

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For Fire Department

By Stan Welch – Williamston Town Council held a brief business meeting Monday night,giving second reading approval to two ordinances, and working out some details for the coming Christmas parade.

Council approved final reading on an ordinance which establishes rules, regulations and standard operating procedures for the fire department. The ordinance includes a new manual which explains the Standard Operation Guidelines for the fire department.

Among areas covered are Department Staffing, Employment Requirements (Probationary Firefighter), job descriptions for Firefighter/Engineer. Captains/Lieutenants, Chief/Assistant Chief, Rapid Intervention Team, Honorary Firefighter, Explorer Program, Code of Conduct, Firefighter Responsibilities, Physical Conditioning, Fire Department Property, Meetings and Training, Finance and the 1% Committee.

A second ordinance voted on Monday night concerned administrative fees for zoning variances.

Police Chief Tony Taylor gave a report on the criminal statistics for the month of September, announcing that three drug houses had been closed down. He also suggested that the Council’s ordinance review committee, chaired by Councilman Rockey Burgess, consider the possibility of a landlord ordinance.

The chief also explained that his department has nothing to do with the setting of bond for various offenders. “We get complaints about people getting out on bail so quick, and I imagine you Council members hear that too,” Taylor said. “But as you know, the summary court sets those bonds, based on state and federal guidelines. We can request consideration or relief in specific cases, but it’s pretty much up to the courts.”

Sonya Crandall, Executive Director of the Envision Williamston Main Street program, announced the Scarecrow Decorating Contest, which will run from Oct. 17 till Nov. 18th. The rules and registration information are available on both the town website and the Envision Williamston website at www.envisionwilliamston.com.

Crandall also announced that several new businesses have recently opened in town, including the Panda Cafe, Williamston Youth Academy, Main Street Pack and Ship, and Java Cup.

Sherri Cole, organizer of the annual Christmas Parade, was on hand to raise some concerns about the failure of some entrants to register and sign the required liability release forms. Pre-registration can be done online. Registered units are issued a number so that they can be judged as the parade goes on

Council also issued a resolution recognizing and honoring the Palmetto High School AFJROTC unit for its role in and contributions to the community. The unit was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Unit Award, the tenth such award in ten years. They also received the Silver Star award for community service for the second year in a row.

Councilman Burgess nominated Johnny Suber to the planning commission. The nomination was unanimously approved.