Williamston Town Council sets committee guidelines

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By David Meade
Williamston Town Council approved second reading on ordinances addressing duties of the town attorney and standing committees of the town, and approved matching grant funding for two grants during their meeting Monday. They also had two special presentations including Envision Williamston announcing winners of the Main Street Challenge and Council recognizing Williamston resident Jean Taylor for her service to the town.

Taylor’s popular social media page “I’m from Williamston” has items of interest and photos related to the Williamston area. Taylor was presented a plaque which Mayor Mack Durham said was recognition for the “good works you have done providing a positive voice in our community.” “We appreciate you,” he told Taylor. Durham announced that the town will also honor her with a plaque to be placed on the wooden bridge in Mineral Spring Park. The plaque will be placed on the wooden covered bridge in Mineral Spring Park during a special ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 during the Spring Water Festival. The bridge is a favorite place she likes to sit.

Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor presented codes enforcement officer Debbie Chapman with a National Society of Leadership and Success certificate from Southern Wesleyan University for training she recently completed there.

Envision Williamston announced winners of the Main Street Challenge grant program for 2019. The winners, Travis McCurly of “Brew N Q” and Kristy Johnston of “Phoenix: Born Again Retail” were recognized during the council meeting. Brew N Q is a BBQ catering company, competition BBQ cook team and soon to be restaurant to locate in Williamston. Phoenix will be a gift, consignment and resale shop. They plan to offer quality clothing, children’s items, accessories and gifts at affordable prices. The winners are eligible for up to $10,000 in incentives offered through the Envision Williamston Main Street Challenge. (See related storyand photos)

Envision Williamston Board Chair Roxanne Hall and EW Economic Development Committee Chair Roberta Hamby made the presentation.
Hall also announced that the EW Executive Director Job opening has been posted on the Envision Williamston website, the Municipal Association website and will appear in local newspapers. Applications will be accepted through August 26.
Council unanimously approved second reading on an ordinance regarding the appointment and duties of the Town Attorney. The ordinance authorizes the town attorney to draft ordinances, resolutions and proclamations, when requested to do so by the Mayor or by any member of the Town Council and addresses other duties. Councilman David Harvell was not present.
Council also approved second reading on an ordinance regarding standing committees of the town.
The four standing commitees are Finance and Policy, Public Safety, Ordinance Review and Recreation and Public Relations. There was some discussion about the appointment of committees, the minimum and maximum number of members allowed and whether council members should be required to be on the committees.
In the end it was decided that a committee should have at least three members and no more than seven members. The Mayor and each member of Town Council will serve as ex officio, non-voting members of all committees. A member of town staff can also be appointed as a non-voting member of a committee.
Mayor Mack Durham said he wanted the committees to allow public perspective on each of the areas and not be heavily weighted by council members who will make the final decision on any matter that comes from the committees.
It was also decided that committee members will serve four year staggered terms. The first year, half of the committee will serve two year terms and half will serve four year terms. After the first term, all members will serve four year terms which will be staggered. Committees will gather and study information and make recommendations to council.
Council approved a resolution authorizing a 20 percent match for a 2019 PARD grant of $10,000. Mayor Mack Durham said “the state legislative delegation, House member Anne Thayer and Senator Mike Gambrell worked hard for us. We welcome the funding which will be used for park related projects.”
Council also approved a resolution for the Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) for local paving projects. Mayor Durham said the town has not had any road resurfacing done in six years due to catastrophic type repairs that the town faced on larger projects.

Council also approved a resolution for sidewalk project funding for Minor Street. The SCDOT Save Routes to School sidewalk project has been ongoing for approximately five years. Mayor Durham said it will connect the schools with the downtown park area. The grant requires the town to make up to a twenty percent match, depending on the final cost of the project which is estimated at $253,000. The local legislative delegation is also providing funding toward the match portion of the project he said. The local match could be up to $50,000.