By Stan Welch
A public meeting will be held on August 12th at the Pelzer Community Center to help shape the future of Pelzer. The meeting will run from 6pm to 8pm. Representatives from MKSK Planning Group will be on hand to share draft concepts of physical, economic, and community development strategies aimed at improving the quality of life and vibrancy of this historic community.
The public is encouraged to attend.
The Town of Pelzer launched its master plan process, with a series of round table discussions several weeks ago. The day began with elected officials of the town escorting the paid consultants from MKSK around town acquainting them with the various features and points of interest.
Tee Coker, of MKSK, told the group that there were three basic issues to address. “We need to identify what is working right now; what the challenges are; and where to place our focus.”
To assist in that task, Coker suggested four guiding principles. “These are intended to reflect the community’s core values, to serve as guideposts so that we don’t stray too far from our goals as we work through this process.” The first principle Coker suggested was to celebrate the Saluda. ”The river is of course a tremendous attraction for the town. At this time, I would describe Pelzer as a town with a river. But it may turn out that Pelzer needs to become a river town.”
The next principle is to remember the community’s roots. “One of the challenges that any town with such a rich history faces is how to change and grow without abandoning or losing that heritage. Obviously there are structural reminders of that history here in Pelzer, but there are other, less obvious vestiges that need to be honored as well.”
The third principle plays into that, with a challenge to build a new legacy by reinvigorating the old mill sites and leveraging them to create new, vibrant facilities at the sites. And the final principle is to foster investment; again using the existing resources to attract future interest in the economy of the town.
Thursday’s meeting will focus on presenting strategies formed from the information gathered at the earlier meetings.