Community involvement important for Pelzer residents

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A Citizens Input Work Shop for the Town of Pelzer drew comments from five or six of the dozen who were present on Tuesday night. Mayor Steve McGregor, Council members and town employees heard concerns ranging from neighborhood safety to office hours for the mayor and how to communicate with them in addition to email.

Discussion on youth recreation, monitoring restrooms in the park, beautification of the medians resulted in citizens volunteering their services. Council was receptive to that idea. The Mayor said he will make available a list of special committees at the next council meeting. Volunteers may sign up for a committee of their choice.
The Mayor opened the meeting with a request for any concerns to present to Sheriff Chad McBride who will be present for the March Council meeting.
Safety was a major concern and citizens gave a number of streets considered as trouble areas. Citizens were encouraged to call law enforcement when they see something suspicious.
The mayor said the sheriff has narrowed the county’s coverage zone which includes Pelzer and that two or three cars are patrolling. Mayor McGregor said a list of the streets for McBride will help in setting times to watch.
The Mayor announced that plans are to restore the outside of the gym, to preserve what is there and to glaze the windows. Hospitality funds will be used. Councilmen Will Ragland and Roger Scott will oversee the project.
Discussion over the elderly paying taxes on vehicles, boats, etc was a concern by some. This was apparently prompted by earlier estimates of what it could require to provide services and run the town after the annexation.
Those items would not be included under Homestead Exemption. Citizens were assured that the Council is looking at sharing services to avoid high taxes.
Goals for the town include police protection, roads and maintenance, signs and daily bills.
Councilwoman Kim Wilson said, “We have to figure how to run the Town. You voted for us for a reason. You trusted us to work for you (every one). We don’t take this responsibility lightly.”
“We are working on numerous things, working tirelessly,” she added.
Councilman Roger Scott said, “It’s constantly on our minds to help our town. Please be patient. We really care. We’re trying our best to do the best for our town.”
A citizen noted, “You don’t have to do it all. Council could appoint committees.”
The spirit of volunteerism carried to the topic of recreation, possibly using the gym for a few hours for youngsters.
Pros and cons of when to keep restrooms open in thepark were discussed.
The restrooms are closed November-February to winterize. They are open on weekends during the warmer months. One resident asked how to get the restroom open when using the park at other times. Councilman Will Ragland suggested a person plan ahead and get a key from Town Hall for use on the weekend
Sandy Jeanes suggested a Volunteer Citizens Group could make a calendar and take turns opening and closing the restrooms.
Wilson said, “We should protect our citizens” and agreed a calendar would be a good idea.
In response to a question on the status of grants, the Mayor said a Charette will be held next week concerning the Hwy. 8 Master Plan with West Pelzer. “This should be extremely helpful,” he said.
The Charette will be held Mar. 7-9 at the pelzer Community Building. Various people and representatives in the community will be invited to participate in the round table discussions.
A PARD grant to enhance the Community Building and especially the basketball court is awaiting word, he said.
Applications for Pelzer’s Appalachian Region Grant has not been approved as yet. Mayor mcGregor said tweaks were made last week and sent o the State Commerce Dept.
The Mayor expressed appreciation for the “good input,” but wished more citizens would attend the work shop. “Community involvement is most important,” he said.