West Pelzer adjusts budget for repairs and maintenance

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On Police Vehicles, Water & Sewer

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Council, following extensive discussion, agreed to repair one of the town’s police cars which has reached the state of being unsafe to drive. The discussion arose from Councilman Jimmy Jeanes opposition to spending the almost seventeen hundred dollars proposed for the repairs. His objection arose from the fact that the expenditure would essentially gut the three thousand dollars currently in the police department’s maintenance and repair budget.

Capt. Brewer of the police department conceded that, but said that any future repairs to the department’s older cars would likely exceed the budget at either amount. He also emphasized that the department’s other cars are currently in decent shape; but that routine maintenance should be performed on a regular basis to keep them that way.

The vehicle in question is the department’s oldest, having been bought in 2008. The town bought four Dodge Charger police cars between 2008 and 2010; a purchase that Jeanes opposed at the time,an opposition that he repeatedly reminded the council of Monday night. “I was the only one on the Council at the time, and I didn’t like the Dodges then. I don’t like them now, either.”

Again, Brewer agreed that he did not favor the Dodges either. “Their front end is their weakness and that’s where this car needs so much work. But what’s past is past.If we don’t fix this car, and I put it on GovBid to sell it, I have to list all the problems. In this shape, we might get five hundred bucks. After the repairs, even with another year or two of use, we’re looking at twenty eight hundred to maybe thirty one hundred. That’s our money back, and then some.”

After some further discussion, the Council approved the expenditure by a vote of 3-1. Councilman Jim Riddle was not present due to illness in his family.

Council also voted to increase the budget line item for repairs and maintenance in the water/sewer department’s budget. The amount was set at $2000 but has been exceeded by almost three hundred dollars already. Department head Mike Mahaffey asked for an increase to ten thousand dollars , a request that Mayor Sanders and the Council were clearly uncomfortable with. In a compromise, they approved an increase to five thousand dollars.

Following another period of discussion, concerning a deck that is proposed at the sewer plant, Council agreed to spend up to nine hundred dollars to build a 6 X 10 deck, and assigned Councilman Jeanes to approach Rodney Ragsdale about the increased size, and see what price he could get, as a result of his personal relationship with Ragsdale.

Town Clerk Paula Payton gave a report on the town’s various departments and their status, and set the holiday schedule.

For Thanksgiving the Town Hall and the public works department will be closed. An adjustment in the disconnection schedule will also be in place, with disconnection for non-payment by November 25 set for November 28, the next business day.

For Christmas, Town Hall and public works will be closed from December 23 through January 2nd. Disconnection for non-payment by December 25th will begin on January 3rd.

The West Pelzer Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 3, at 3 p.m.