Overhanging trees causing problems on some streets in Williamston

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By David Meade
During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard a complaint about overhanging trees causing problems on some city streets. Department reports and updates were also made during the meeting.
During public comments, Ken Marshall expressed concerns with trees and canes hanging over the road on Mauldin St. and Cherokee Road. Marshall said the trees are causing property damage to vehicles. He said the situation is worse when it rains. Also there is more traffic on the roads, including school buses, with Minor Street being closed and that in some places there is only room enough for one way traffic.
Police Chief Tony Taylor presented stats for June which showed the department had 249 calls, 272 business contacts, 136 business after hours checks, 393 keep checks and 477 direct patrol incidents. There were 104 traffic enforcement incidents.
During the codes report, Debbie Chapman said there were nine compliance issues reported by phone, two by email and two on facebook messenger. There are 32 issues currently being addressed, most for tall weeds and grass.
With the assistance of Anderson County, two houses were condemned and the town is in the process of notifying owners to bring them into compliance with codes.
“We are continuing to educate the community by issuing notices for first time offenses which seems to be working,” Chapman said.
No tickets were issued this month and all but one of the tickets issued last month were cleared by the court date.
Chapman said an education article is being published in The Journal and on social media explaining the garbage ordinance, the tall grass ordinance and some of the more common issues. “Hopefully this will also help to answer some of the questions and concerns that we receive,” Chapman said.
Mayor Durham commented that being proactive “has been very effective in educating the community on ordinances and encourage compliance. The pubic has really embraced it and try to be compliant,” he said.
Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison reported that members of the volunteer department have attended a pump operations class and that the department sponsored a successful cruise-in with the fireworks show held recently.
The department is averaging one call per day, he said. He also reported that a motor vehicle accident cleanup charge bill to insurance is bringing the department approximately $1000 each month. The charge is $555 with the billing company receiving ten percent. The department also received an extractor washer and dryer with is saving money on firefighting cleaning expenses.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall gave a powerpoint presentation on the organization and projects currently underway.