West Pelzer approves budget, new town flag

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During their meeting Tuesday, West Pelzer Town Council approved second reading on their 2020-21 budget, approved a resolution to allow transfer of alleyways and approved a new town flag.
No one spoke at the public hearing addressing the $1,132,500 budget.
Mayor Blake Sanders said the budget has no tax or fee increases. During his presentation, Sanders said that
since 2015, the town has had a reduction of two full time employees, an increase in municipal space with the new town hall, roll back of property taxes two times and increased fund balance by $156,500.
The town currently has one full time and two part time persons in the general fund budget, three full time and five part time in the police department and one full time and two part time employees in the Water Sewer Department.
The town has added three new patrol cars, addressing Phase 1 and 2 USDA payments, completed Chapman Park, has a new 4000 SF Town Hall, a 1600 SF Community Center in the old town hall, implemented the GRAND Gallery, reducing fuel costs and taxes. The town has also added many events.
The town plans to add $105,000 to the Fund Balance.
The budget includes a 3 percent cost of living raise for employees, as well as retirement and insurance costs increases. and funding for capital projects.
The budget is based on a strategic plan adopted by the town earlier in the year focused on three guiding principles. They are to Build a Safer Environment, Beautify the Town, and Be Our Best. Sanders said the goal is to communicate better and focus on big ideas. Among those are branding for the town and a new flag, addressing town owned alleyways and do something big for West Pelzer.
Two things in the strategic plan were addressed during the meeting.
The town adopted a new flag. Mayor Sanders said the design the planning commission came up with meets the guidelines for a simple and effective flag design which are: Keep It Simple.; Use Meaningful Symbolism; Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors; No Lettering or Seals. and Be Distinctive or Be Related.
The town flag has two primary colors, blue with one white bird and orange with two birds.
The blue represents the proximity to Saluda River and understanding of ‘our’ ancestors AND knowledge of Cherokee Indian markings in West Pelzer that represent the springs and point toward the Saluda River.
The Orange reflects sunset in the West,  and the Birds represent one of the Town’s original proclamations to designate as a bird sanctuary.
The number of Birds is symbolic of past, present and future – from incorporation as Frankville (1913), changing to West Pelzer (1918), and Today.
Council also passed a resolution to allow potential transfer of town owned alleyways to adjacent land owners through a quitclaim deed.
Survey and other costs associated with the transfer will be the responsibility of the property owners, Sanders said.
Mayor Sanders also read a statement from the town addressing the current environment associated with the death of George Floyd and a response to it by the town. Councilman Jim Riddle also read a related statement.