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Combining into one departmentBy Stan Welch – Signs of the growing cooperation between the towns of Pelzer and West Pelzer continue to surface. The latest became apparent at Monday night’s West Pelzer Town Council meeting.
Mayor Blake Sanders informed the town council that Brad West, of the Pelzer Public Works Department would be leaving the town’s employ at the first of March, leaving the town without any public works employees.
Sanders added that the joint water and sewer committee that the two towns have formed had reached a non-binding agreement whereby
another qualified employee will be hired, and will work under the auspices and supervision of the West Pelzer Public Works Department.
That department, headed by Michael Mahaffey, will operate and maintain the water and sewer systems for both towns.
Sanders described the arrangement as an extension of the concept of two towns and one community that both town governments have promoted in recent weeks.
Another aspect of the agreement designates local contractor J&M Construction to handle major issues, such as broken lines, on an hourly rate The arrangement is designed to leave the regular public service employees free to perform their routine duties while the larger matters are addressed.
Elimination of duplicate equipment and services is expected to save West Pelzer approximately twenty thousand dollars a year, while Pelzer is expected to save in the neighborhood of thirty thousand annually.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pelzer pays fifty five per cent of the costs of all joint services involving the towns. They will pay fifty five per cent of all public service salaries and benefits incurred by the three employees.
In other business, the Council voted to award a total of five thousand dollars in grants to four businesses or other entities from the facade improvement program.
Half those funds came from the town’s hospitality tax revenues and the other half was donated by the Palmetto Business Association. The entities receiving funds were Mill Town Place, Westy’s Antiques and Vintage Heirlooms, West Pelzer Baptist Church,and Cuttin’ Loose Hair Salon.
The uses for the funds vary from additional lighting to landscaping to making one of the locations ADA accessible.
Council also approved the expenditure of twelve hundred dollars for Town Clerk Paula Payton and Shane Black to attend a three day training session by the South Carolina Utility Billing Association in March.
Town Hall will be closed Monday March 6th and Tuesday March 7th while these employees attend specialized training with the South Carolina Utility Billing Association.
During this time customers are encouraged to make utility payments online at www.westpelzer.com; and fine payments at www.andersoncountysc.org or leave utility and fine payments in the drop box at Town Hall, which will be checked daily.
If a customer has a public works issue they can submit a work order online at www.westpelzer.com or call 864.947.6297 and choose option #3
If a citizen needs a West Pelzer police officer they can call Anderson County Dispatch or Town Hall 864.947.6297 and choose option #4. In case of an emergency please call 911.Town Hall will resume regular hours Wednesday March 8th at 8am.
The Council also approved the purchase of a dozen replacement water meters, fifteen meter box lids for replacement, and a dozen meter boxes. The cost was approximately three thousand dollars.
Council also approved a resolution authorizing the drafting of an ordinance to restrict and regulate large commercial vehicle traffic on Highway 8 as it passes through town. The resolution refers to the town’s revitalization efforts and the impacts of the traffic on those efforts. It also cites the existence of such ordinances in other towns.
Mayor Sanders acknowledged the low probability that the ordinance itself will cause SCDOT to respond favorably, but added that it would give him some leverage to ask for a traffic study on the number of vehicles that leave I-385 and use Hwy. 418 and Hwy. 8 to get to the intersection of Hwy. 8 and I-85. “That will give us some hard data to support our ordinance and the need for it.”