Mayor to focus on capital improvements during second term

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By David Meade – Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said this week that his first term as mayor was primarily focused on planning and his second term will be focusing more on capital improvements for the town. Speaking to the Palmetto Business Association Tuesday, Durham said he also wants to have a better relationship among the three towns, Williamston, West Pelzer and Pelzer.

He said there has been some collaboration already between the towns and he sees unity of the three towns as “very important to our future.” Durham said that the area has shared demographics and comprises one market, not three separate ones.

According to Durham, the town will invest approximately $1 million in water and sewer system improvements and is currently working on a five year infrastructure plan.

The town recently approved a 10 year loan of $150,000 with BB&T Financial to purchase radio read water meters.

Replacing old equipment such as aging garbage trucks and other capital improvements will be a priority.

Council recently approved the purchase of a new flatbed truck for the street department to use to pick up limbs and leaves. Cost for the 2017 International 4300 SBA Construction Dump truck will be $79,500. The truck is being purchased from Carolina International Trucks, Inc. in Columbia.

Funding will come out of the town’s $2.3 million reserve fund.

Council also recently approved a $56,500 match for an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant of $84,500 recently awarded to Envision Williamston. The grant will be used for low-cost, high impact beautification and community engagement downtown projects totaling $183,650.

The projects include development of greenway space, small gateways to the community, facade improvement and a murals program according to Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall.

The projects will lay a foundation for a larger community grant, according to Crandall. The funding will come from the Hospitality Tax fund.