Cell tower contract, water meter readings bring in additional revenue for Pelzer

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By Stan Welch
Pelzer Town Council, after amending its agenda, gave final approval to the 2018-2019 budget, and voted to participate in an emergency management effort by the county.
The effort consists basically of providing a space to be used for citizens in need of a cool place during the summer heat. The space will be available if temperatures reach a hundred five degrees two days in a row, or a hundred ten degrees at all. The county will provide fans and supplies like cold water.
Council approved the budget for the coming year. The operating budget shows an increase in revenues, with revenues of $1,005,331 and expenses of $1,006,041. (See details in a related story)
In other business, following an executive session to discuss the details, the council voted to approve a contract with American Tower for the lease on the cell tower located in the town limits. The contract, which will take effect in 2023, when the current contract expires, will increase the monthly payment to more than $2900. An additional seventy thousand dollars signing bonus will be paid upon full execution of the extension agreement. That agreement also allows for an option to renew for five additional five year terms.
Mayor Roger Scott also informed the handful of citizens in attendance that bids are being sought for painting and repairs on the gymnasium building, as well as on the community building, which suffered some storm damage recently. “I have to tell you, it amazes me how few responses we have had. It seems like nobody wants to work these days,” said Scott.
He also announced that for the first time in many years, all the water meters in town have been read; a circumstance that the budget anticipates will generate an additional sixty three thousand dollars in the coming year.
Scott said that many citizens had been paying the minimum for years because the meters weren’t properly or regularly read.
As an example, he pointed to the old elementary school building, which has been paying less than fifty dollars a month for water.
Since the proper two inch meter was installed, that amount has gone to eight hundred dollars.
Council also listened to a long list of complaints about the lack of maintenance and cleanup being done. Location after location of overgrown, low hanging trees were cited by members of the audience.
Scott told them that they had one employee and that he was working on the problems.
“It’s going to take some time. We are still working through problems that were left to us by the previous council,” Mayor Scott said. “Also, moving our operations back to our own town hall raised a lot of problems that were passed to us.”