By David Meade
During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved second reading on an ordinance amending regulations of events in Public Places and passed a resolution to adopt rules for Parks, Trails and Public Places.
They also heard a report on a Water Project Study which provides an overview of assetts and makes short and long term recommendations.
During public comments, former councilmember Otis Scott addressed council stating he was “ashamed for our town” referring to changes in town policy that were approved in January that will allow alcohol to be served at private events, such as receptions, at the Municipal Center.
Scott said he was proud of Councilman David Harvell for voting against allowing alcohol and said the council should ask citizens of Williamston what they think before they pass the ordinance.
Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison presented Fire Department Officers for 2017. Included are Steve Ellison Chief; Van Ellison Assistant Chief; Dave Bryant 1st Captain; Rick Heatherly 2nd Captain;Tim Heatherly 1st Lieutenant and Phillip Ellison 2nd Lieutenant. The officers were approved by council later in the meeting.
Main Street/Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall reported a grant application has been submitted to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for an $84,500 streetscaping project. Crandall reported the base for the new electronic message board/sign being erected in front of Town Hall is completed and a power meter will be installed this week. Duke Energy will then supply power for the sign. Logo artwork for the sign has been orderd, she said.
Crandall said new street banners have also been ordered. Both projects are expected to be completed in the next four to eight weeks.
Crandall said fifteen sites have been identified for the Adopt a Rest Stop program and half of those are already sponsored. “We are still looking for co-sposnors,” she said.
Details are being worked out for a new facade grant program and the main street challenge business start up program, she said.
In old business, Council approved second reading on a town zoning ordinance amendment which addresses outbuildings and changes setback limits from 3 ft. to 5 ft.
Council approved second reading on an ordinance amending the regulations of Events in Public Places for Mineral Spring Park to include all parks.
According to Town Attorney Lee Cole, the ordinance defines all public spaces, outdoor parks and recreation facilities for staff clarification. The change adds Brookdale Park, Gray Drive (Trail), Veterans Park, walking trails and recreational areas to the ordinance.
The ordinance also allows Council to set fees and rules for usage by resolution, Cole said.
Council unanimously approved a resolution to adopt rules for Parks, Trails, and Public Places.
The resolution allows council to provide rules and guidelines for regular and special events. Councilman Rockey Burgess said the resolution is not actually creating rules, bu will allow Council to do so at a later date.
Attorney Cole said the resolution is a start so that council has the flexibility to add or take away from current guidelines being used by town staff and changing some wording.
It was suggested to form a committee for additional input.
Adam Hogan of Alliance Consulting Engineers of Greenville presented information on a Water Study.
According to Hogan, highlights of the study focus on an overview of assets including water lines and meters and short and long term recommendations.
Hogan said the short term plans address smaller water lines and short term improvements including a planned radio read water meter upgrade.
Long term recommendations will “move the town toward more proactive assett management,” he said.
Hogan said the town has 50 to 50 miles of water lines that will need to be replaced. Useful life for lines is 80 years he said. The town has 3300 to 4000 feet of water lines that are over eighty years old, he said.
The study will help the town prioritize improvements based on the age of the water lines.
Hogan said the town has about 100 water meters, which have a life expectancy of 40 years.
The project also includes water system mapping which the town is currently working on, and getting the system into electroninc form which will be viewable from phnes and tablets, he said.
The study will also help the town set water system design standards for future development.
It identifies a possible backup water source with Greenville Water and provides information for a water rate study to comparing for potential rate changes and how it will effect the town’s budget.
The study recommends current projects totaling approximately $650,000.
Mayor Mack Durham said the town has approved $1 million over the next three years for the study and the recommended projects.
The presentation was accepted as information to be used as a guideline for the town to address future water system improvements.