Williamston showing signs of residential growth

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During a work session Tuesday, Williamston Town Council heard preliminary information about a possible residential development off Williams Street. They also talked about paving projects underway in town and the Rise Above Cancer Balloon event held Friday and Saturday in Williamston.
Mayor Mack Durham said the paving has been completed on Pelzer Avenue and Mineral Park Lane. Other streets that will be paved soon include Lee St, Glenwood and Glendale. Mattison Street will be resurfaced with tar and gravel from Cross Street to Tripp Street.
The mayor and councilmembers agreed that the Cancer Association of Anderson event a good one for the town, even with limited activities. The event was to be a festival type awareness and fundraiser for the Cancer Association of Anderson, but was scaled back to feature a hot air balloon glow, teathered rides and some balloons actually launched. Cancer patients and family members were invited to enjoy the balloons.
Durham said the event was an “unofficial event” which was not heavily advertised because it was limited by the COVID situation. “We let them use our facilities to hold it,” he said.
Councilman Chris Alexander commented on how quick the paving projects started after the recent final approval by the Anderson County Transportation Committee.
Mayor Durham said the process took about a year from projects being submitted to the ACTC, receiving funding approval and bids being let. Once bids were let, just recently, the paving soon followed.
Mayor Durham told council that a residential housing development is being considered for the town owned property near the Milliken plant. “It is a new process for us,” he said. He said the plat is not final and will be submitted to the planning commission before coming before council. A formal agreement with the developer is also necessary he said. Mayor Durham said the town is considering “an incentive deal with a land transfer” which will allow value added amenities within the project that will allow the developer to put “value back into the property.”
Durham said the town will see benefits from property tax revenue , added roof tops making the town more marketable to businesses. “It will also revitalize property near the mill village which is good for us,” he said.
Town attorney Lee Cole said the agreement will include certain benchmarks such as a build out in a period of time, that if not met, the town had the ability to get the property back.
Durham said the project should have 63 to 67 homes.
He also said the town is working on an easement for sewer for the project to tie in with sewer projects already planned on Mahaffey Road. A water easement through the property will also help the town with low water pressure in the area, particularily on fire hydrants.
The mayor said there is a lot of residential interest in Williamston right now. A light industrial and residential analysis is being conducted by Red City Planning and will be presented to Council soon. Durham said the study shows some realistic goals for the town over the next three years.
The town is also working on a comprehensive plan. Mayor Durham said both are examples of an “organized movement with growth for the town.”
The September meeting of Williamston Town Council will be held next Monday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.