Williamston recognizes Dianne Lollis, Sgt. Evatt for service; addresses zoning, RVs and food truck vending

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During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council recognized retiring police Sgt. Kevin Evatt and volunteer event organizer Dianne Lollis. Council also approved second reading on changes to rules of order for meetings, the sale of .17 acres of property on Pelzer Avenue, establishment of a building permit and nuisance abatement fund and appointed an interim town attorney.
During public comments, Willie Wright said he had suggested in 2006 that the town Wards be printed on the water bills to indicate which ward residents were in. He said there is imaginary line and many residents are not sure which ward they reside in. He also stated that in 2011 he had appeared before council to request sidewalks be installed on Greenville Drive to Hamilton Street and to Carolina Community Center. He said Greenville Drive is the first impression people have entering the town. There are also a lot of people walking along Greenville Drive including school kids, persons in motorized wheelchairs and pedestrians.
Mayor Rockey Burgess responded that the Wards were being printed on the bills at one time, but for an unknown reason, they currently are not. He said the town will start doing it again. Burgess also added that he has recently met with a SCDOT commissioner to look at needs in Williamston and that LED pedestrian signs will be installed at crossings at McDonalds and in front of the Complete Wellness Chiropractic on East Main. “They are willing to work with us,” he said.

Honor Dianne Lollis

Council honored Dianne Lollis with a proclamation for many years of service as a volunteer on the Springwater Committee, countless hours of service to the Spring Water Festival, Christmas Park, Boo in the Park and other events. She is also active in the Pelzer Heritage Commission, Pine Lawn Cemetery Association and other groups dedicated to revitalizing the Town of Pelzer. Mayor Burgess presented Lollis with a plaque recognizing her service.
Lollis said she was surprised at the recognition and “I do it all for the kids.”

Honor Sgt. Kevin Evatt

Council also honored retiring Police Sgt. Kevin Evatt for his service as a law enforcement officer. Evatt served as a detention officer with the SC Dept. of Corrections and Anderson County Detention Center before beginning his career as a law enforcement officer with the Town of Iva Police Dept. in 1998. He transferred to the City of Mauldin Police Dept. where he served as Field Training Officers and Master Patrolman.
Evatt began his service with the Williamston Police Dept. in 2002 and rose through the ranks to become Captain of Investigations and uniform Patrol.
In 2009 and 2010 Sgt. Evatt served in Afghanistan with the US Dept. of State as an advisor to the Afghan National Police. He returned from overseas in 2010 and served as a Deputy with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office through 2017 and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Corporal as a K-9 Deputy. In 2017 he returned to the Town of Williamston Police Dept. and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant over the School Resource Officers. Mayor Burgess presented Evatt with a plaque recognizing his service. Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor presented Evatt with his badge and service revolver.

Chief Taylor presented a $375 donation from Williamston Police Officers to Gloria Pascoe for the Faith Food Bank in Williamston. Pascoe said the organization served 8955 people in 2020.

Council approved the appointment of Attorney Rame Campbell to the position of interim town attorney.
Current Town Attorney Lee Cole, who is running for the Ward 2 seat on council, will resign the position on April 1.

Council approved an amendment to the zoning regulations for residential/commercial (RC) district to allow the same uses in the RC district that are currently permitted in the Office Commercial (OC). The change was recommended by the town planning commission and matches uses already in the RC district. The change permits almost any business type use except sexually oriented business, cell towers and tattoo parlors, which are prohibited.
Burgess said the change makes property use less restrictive.

Council also approved first reading on an ordinance addressing parking and storage of campers and recreational vehicles (RVs). Planning Commission Chair Marion Middleton, Jr. said the ordinance addresses people living in campers and RVs which he said “are not mobile homes.”
He said several issues have come up recently with people living in RVs in backyards.
The ordinance states that RVs stored or parked cannot be connected to water, sewer or septic tanks.
They also cannot have steps, porches or decks connected to them.

Council approved first reading on an ordinance regulating mobile food vending.
Middleton said the ordinance regulates food vending and food trucks .
He said it particularly regulates ice cream trucks, requiring extensive background checks to be provided by the vendor, and provides an ability to look at health standards. it also states specific hours and variances. “We want to look forward to what we want to become,” Middleton said.
The ordinance requires DHEC approvals, a town business license and a mobile food license and decal.
Food vendors must also provide proof of insurance and a litter receptacle.

Council approved Mayor Burgess to serve as the alternate representing Williamston on the Anderson Joint Regional Water System board. David Rogers currently serves as the primary representative.

Mayor Burgess read a statement from the Williamston Masonic Lodge #24 stating that the organization will not be holding the Pig in the Park Barbecue Festival this year. The letter states that the SC Grand Master is currently not allowing any lodges to hold fundraisers due to the COVID virus situation. they plan to hold the event in 2022.
Burgess said the town’s Freedom Celebration and Fireworks, the Spring Water Festival and Hot Air Affair balloon event for cancer are planned for later in the year.
Burgess also said the Alive Wesleyan church had requested to hold an Easter Egg hunt event March 27 from 10 am to 2 pm. They plan to have craft stations, food truck vendor and a COVID friendly with social distancing and masks required. There will be multiple egg hunts during the time period.
Burgess said the egg hunt hosted annually by the Palmetto Business Association is in limbo.

Council went into executive session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss an economic development and personnel. They returned to open session with no action taken.

Pictured above:

Honor Dianne Lollis
Dianne Lollis was recognized with a proclamation and honored for her many years of service as a volunteer in both Williamston and Pelzer. Williamston Mayor Rockey Burgess presented Lollis with a plaque recognizing her service.

Honor Sgt. Evatt
Retiring Police Sgt. Kevin Evatt was recognized for his service as a law enforcement officer. most recently with the Town of Williamston Police Department where he served as Sergeant over the School Resource Officers. Mayor Rockey Burgess (l) presented Sgt. Evatt with a plaque and Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor (r) presented Evatt with his badge and service revolver.