Williamston Town Council approves funding for sewer projects

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By David Meade
During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved funding for a sewer master plan study, a CDBG sewer grant match and use of town property for a Party in the Park event.
Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc (GMC) will be preparing the Sewer Master Plan over a three month period, at a cost of $17,000.
The project includes updating maps with current infrastructure, performing a population projection study for future sewer demands, determining existing flow conditions and determining existing infrastructure capacity.

The study will also use updated system maps to develop a sewer model using GPS survey information and prepare a written report of findings, recommendations and cost estimates.
The report will include recommendations for future system improvements which are projected growth areas north of town, capital improvement plan for upgrades and replacement of areas of the sewer collection system and possible funding sources and cycles for the capital projects.
Council unanimously approved final reading to abandon a portion of Sullivan Street, which runs between the church parking lot and Calvary Baptist Church.
Council approved the appointment of Debbie Chapman to the Ordinance Review Committee.
Those items were approved unanimously with a 4-0 vote.
In what was probably the first time ever a vote was cast in Williamston by phone from New York, Councilman Rockey Burgess, who is on vacation in New York, called in to vote on other items on the agenda including approval of the town’s required $97,000 match for the CDBG grant of $789,000 for the Belton Drive Sewer Upgrade project and the Party in the Park event.
The Party in the Park event will be held on the town ballfields located behind the Municipal Center.
It is being sponsored by TRZ Management, the Palmetto Business Association and the Arts Council, according to Mayor Mack Durham.
Durham said alcohol will be available at the event, however it will only be available in a designated area on town property.
The issue of alcohol being available was a dilemma for at least one councilmember.
Councilman Tony Hagood said he supported the event, however had reservations about alcohol being available.
Hagood said the town has had numerous successful events without alcohol including the first Party in the Park events, the Spring Water Festival and others.
Hagood said he has a lot of interaction with children and pointed out that by supporting the event, he was sending a wrong message in “demonstrating things littles ones are encouraged to do.”
Councilman David Harvell was also opposed.
Councilman Burgess, by phone, stated his understanding was that there will be restricted area for alcohol vending located on town property, not directly on the ballfields.
Use of town property for the event was approved by a 3-2 vote with Councilmembers Hagood and Harvell opposed.
Following the meeting Councilman Harvell said, “Council should be working for the people, not Party in the Park.”