Williamston Town Council hears final report from Envision Williamston Director

Williamston Town Council heard a final report from their Envision Williamston Executive Director, approved several new ordinances and will honor a local resident with a plaque in Mineral Spring Park.
Photo – Mayor Mack Durham and Envision Williamston Board Chair Roxanne Hall and EW Board Member Marion Williams presented a plaque of appreciation to Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall Monday. Crandall is leaving the position this week that she has held for the last four years.
During special requests, David Meade, representing several festival organizers, requested the town consider allowing two poles to be placed on West Main Street to hang festival banners. Meade, Chairman of the Spring Water Festival, said organizers of the Pig in the Park BBQ Festival and Cookoff, Spring Water Festival and the Homesteading Festival would like to be able to place banners across the street as they have in the past. Meade said it offers another way to promote the events and adds to the festival atmosphere. The request was accepted as information.
During his report, Police Chief Tony Taylor said patrolling by his officers helps prevent some of the problems being experienced in other parts of the county including homicides and robberies. “We work hard to make sure they don’t happen here,” Chief Taylor said.
Taylor said that business checks and patrolling are deterrents.
Chief Taylor said there have been twenty-two incidents involving guns in the Town of Williamston, with three victims and two incidents in which officers were shot at. Three businesses have been robbed.
Taylor said Williamston Police Officers are proactive and visible to the community.
He related a recent incident involving a homicide in Anderson in which an arrest of the suspect on another charge was made in Williamston.
Chief Taylor also said a potential home invasion was interrupted because an officer happened to be patrolling in the area. According to Taylor, three individuals, one with a gun, threatened to kill a person and were at the residence and had cut phone connections when the officer came by.
He said by being proactive, there has been a decrease in calls in some areas.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall, in her last report to Council, updated projects and made some final policy recommendations.
Crandall said the Bobbers on Big Creek event had 2000 stickers given out with over 500 turned in for bobbers for the race. The event translated into $20,000 in business generated in the town. “It was a win-win with fun and commerce,” Crandall said. She encouraged the town to move forward with economic development and continue with projects and development along Greenville Drive. A new welcome sign is being placed on Anderson Drive. Radio spots are advertising for the upcoming concert with the Tams and the Spring Water Festival. She recommended the town consider flex seating and street banners for festivals.
She also recommended the town expand the building envelope and infrastructure for future new businesses.
“It has been a great pleasure working for the Town of Williamston,” Crandall said. “ What I will remember the most is the people and the town members.”
Following the report, Mayor Mack Durham and Envision Williamston Board Chair Roxanne Hall and EW Board Member Marion Williams presented a plaque of appreciation to Crandall.
During the business portion of the meeting, Council approved second reading on an ordinance deleting references to MHSD (Manufactured Homes). According to Town Attorney Lee Cole, the change deletes the reference for a manufactured housing subdivision and zoning for a mobile home park. He said there currently are no mobile home parks in the town. It does not change being able to put a mobile home in Williamston, he said.
Council approved first reading on an ordinance to provide for the appointment and duties of the Town Attorney. The ordinance was approved with an amendment to allow any member of council or the mayor to ask or request the town attorney to help draft a proposed ordinance. Councilman Rockey Burgess presented the motion. Council approved first reading on an ordinance to Establish Standing Committees of Town Council with an amendment allowing each committee to appoint its own chair. Economic Development was also deleted from the standing committees and will be under the Envision Williamston program. There was considerable discussion about dropping the public works commission from the standing committees. Councilman Burgess said the committee allows input from residents on issues concerning garbage pickup, stormwater and drainage and others. Mayor Durham said the planning commission currently addresses those issues. The motion to strike the public works committee was approved with Councilmembers Chris Alexander and Councilman Burgess opposed. The entire ordinance as amended was approved 5-0.
Council approved a plaque honoring Jean Taylor to be placed on the wooden bridge in the Mineral Spring Park. Taylor has a social media page with photos and information about the town.
Council approved funding of up to $35,000 for a Pilot Study concerning injection grouting for sewer collection. Information was presented at a recent work session on the sewer fund. The project will prepare for growth and make sure the town has sufficient sewer availability. “The sewer system is integral for that growth,” Mayor Durham said.
The pilot study will be on approximately 1000 ft. of sewer line and continue for future needs. The town hopes to get a grant to fund the study. The funds approval will be used only if the grant falls through.
Council went into an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. Upon returning to open session Mayor Durham said no action was taken.