Palmetto Soccer Club addresses council

Drew Johnston of the Palmetto Soccer Club spoke to Williamston Town Council Monday about the local soccer program and addressed concerns that the club may be “looking for another home”.
Johnston recently spoke at a Pelzer Town Council meeting and his comments raised some concerns about future plans for the club, especially with Councilman Rockey Burgess, who attended the meeting in Pelzer.
Johnston told the Williamston Council that the club has no intention of leaving Williamston. He said the program has grown a lot since the soccer fields were made available in Williamston seven years ago and that the club needed a full size field for older age groups and possible tournament play. “We had the opportunity to practice and play at another field in Pelzer,” Johnston said. “I didn’t intend for it to come across that we weren’t grateful for what we’ve gotten from Williamston. We’ve grown a lot and need more space to play games.”
Johnston said the current soccer field area gets congested when there is practice and games going on and there is limited parking. “Our goal is keeping soccer here for along time,” he said. “There may have been a lack of communication. We want to be transparent and an open book. We don’t want that to change.”
Burgess thanked Johnston for coming to the meeting but said he had concerns about a comment made at the Pelzer meeting “that they were looking for a place to call home.”
Johnston said the club has a short term and long term plan and that he didn’t intend it that way. “We are looking for one or two full size fields to play on. We do need to have a complex to play games on. We would like to bring people into the area to play at our facility if we have them,” he said.
Mayor Durham said “We want a soccer field to play on. The soccer program started here and we want you to think of us as home.”
Durham said the town is considering a comprehensive plan and that recreation is a part of the plan. “I want council to understand the importance of our local soccer program. That is why I am recommending $500,000 to implement a comprehensive plan.”
During other department reports, Police Chief Tony Taylor told council that the police department had received a grant for a washing machine, dryer, stove and refrigerator. He said the equipment has been useful during the recent COVID-19 situation. Taylor said the department has been short staffed due to three officers that were possibly exposed to the virus having to sit out for 72 hours.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Tony Brown reported three new businesses have opened since March.
Bee Clean car wash and pressure wash opened at 200 Greenville Drive; OGP Smoke and Tobacco Shop opened April 30 at 12 N. hamilton and Home & Heart Designs and Boutique opened May 30 at 1110 Anderson Drive.
Brown said he is working with the Clemson SBDC to provide consulting and assistance with business recruitment as well as coaching and individual services for existing businesses. He said they are working on a presentation  package to use for recruiting businesses.
Brown said Envision Williamston has also applied as a non-profit for free marketing service from Riggs Partners, an ad agency in Greenville. He said if approved, the service would be used for an ad campaign to pursue businesses.
Anderson University is also partnering to provide discounted classes for town employees and PBA member businesses.