Williamston to host several events in April

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Williamston Town Council held a short meeting Monday in which they heard an update on Envision Williamston marketing and business assistance projects, approved funding for improvements at the old Gatewood entrance and revisions to the property maintenance code.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall reported several publications have been updated including the Season of Events rack card, Financial and Real Estate Services guide, Dining, Shopping and Service guide, and the Historical Walking Tour guide. The town also has an updated Business Assistance Guide available and Envision Williamston is accepting applications for the Main Street New Business Challenge.
Envision Williamston and the Town of Williamston have several upcoming events including an event called “Our Town Matters” which will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 25 in the Municipal Center. The public is invited to the event which will “celebrate successes and showcase future initiatives”. There will be speakers from the Town of Williamston, the Career and Technology School, Anderson School District One, Palmetto Business Association and Envision Williamston. Light refreshments will be served. Crandall said the event “will highlight quality of life and education in the community” as well as accomplishments and future plans.
Crandall reported twelve businesses are participating in the facade grant program, which has already helped improve seventeen business properties in the town since it began. The program offers business or property owners a matching grant of up to $2000 for improvements.
Envision Williamston recently launched a mobile app which includes town, event and business information. The app can be downloaded from the app store.
Crandall said a radio advertising campaign will begin soon on 105.5 The Roar which will highlight the Main Street Challenge and Quality of Life in Williamston. The “Did You Know” campaign is designed to reach “a wider audience with topics related to the town”, Crandall said.
Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor reported the department conducted 122 business contacts, 119 after hours checks, investigated 76 traffic incidents, and produced 41 reports of which 91 were accidents, 7 arrests and 2 search warrants executed. In total they answered 359 calls and had 90 walk-ins.
In the Codes Enforcement update, Debbie Chapman reported addressing one illegal dumping incident a commercial building problem, one person living in a camper complaint, and four limb and debris complaints.
Chapman said there have been several incidents in which large piles are being placed curb-side with items too large to fit into the truck. Large piles cannot be picked up, she said.
Guidelines on weeds, limbs and brush can be found on the town’s website.
Four incidents of condemned housing complaints were addressed. One is requesting permission to renovate and two are part of the NIP housing project whose owners failed to respond to a request to purchase made by the County, Chapman said. One is a house that burned.
Five incidents of trash in yard and one junk car were also addressed, she said.
Chapman reminded people with dog complaints to  call 260-4400 unless it is an emergency, in which case they should call 911.
The town has several upcoming events including the Palmetto Business Association Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday (April 6), the “Our Town Matters” event April 25 and the annual HOWDY cleanup day May 11. All are open to the public. Also, Envision Williamston will host the state Main Street Program meeting April 11 which will bring Main Street leaders from across the state to Williamston and a  “Volunteer Appreciation Dinner” will be held at 7 p.m. April 18 for volunteers who helped with projects and events last year.
In the business portion of the meeting, Council approved $9500 for a cleanup and beautification project at the old Gatewood Subdivision entrance located on Mill Street. Mayor Mack Durham said the project includes having some utility lines located, basic grading and other improvements which will improve safety and beautification.
Council also approved first reading on changes to the International Property Maintenance Code which the town has adopted. The change includes a requirement for plant and vegetation on undeveloped property to be subject to a 40 foot setback from public rights of way and lot easements. Also only one unlicensed uncovered vehicle that is going through a major overhaul will be allowed on a property.
Council also approved a resolution proclaiming National Kids to Parks Day on May 18. The proclamation encourages kids to get outdoors and enjoy national and local parks.
Council went into a brief executive session for an economic development and contractural matter. When asked after the meeting if there will be an “economic development” announcement soon, Mayor Durham said there may be soon, but declined to provide any details.
Durham said bids for the bridge replacement work on Minor Street will be in by Thursday and construction contracts should be awarded in about two weeks. An update on the project construction should be available then, he said.
During a work session last Tuesday, Durham said a budget luncheon will be held on Friday, April 12 to dine and discuss budget issues, allowing time for a follow up meeting if needed prior to the first reading of the budget at the May Council meeting.