Williamston approves purchase agreement for development of “Milliken property”

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During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a purchase agreement with Hunter Quinn Homes LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for development of the “Milliken property” located at Williams Street and Brock Lane. The total tract includes 31.49 acres. Of that, 27.51 acres is being made available to the developer who plans 64 single family lots. The second tract, which will be retained by the town, is 3.98 acres and will be split zoned for commercial use.
Under the agreement, the purchase price will be $320,000 which will be paid to the town as the lots are sold.
The developer will pay $5000 to the town as lots are fully developed and closing is held on each new home. Mayor Rockey Burgess said $1000 of that will go to the real estate agent.
The homes in the development are expected to be priced from $300,000 and up.
The development will include lots of green space, sidewalks, curbs, and a trail head for access to other town trails with easy access to the park, Mineral Spring Trail system and eventually to West Pelzer, Pelzer and the Saluda River, according to Burgess. The agreement was approved 3-0 with councilman Cole recusing himself due to possible conflict of interest. Councilman Chris Alexander was not at the meeting.

Burgess said, “It is a great project for the town. It is the one I am the most excited about.” He said real estate agents in the area are telling him there are no homes available in the area. He said the project will begin fairly quickly and it is expected to see dirt being turned by the end of 2021.

Council also approved a zoning change for property on Mahaffey and heard an update on a Cancer Association Balloon event.

Angie Stringer of the Cancer Association of Anderson updated Council on the Hot Air Affair event being planned for Labor Day weekend in Williamston and the surrounding area.
The event was held last year in Williamston, but in a limited fashion due to COVID. This year, the event will include at least 22 hot air balloons and other activities, Stringer said. “We had a great turnout last year and are excited about this year.”
Stringer said the event will also involve West Pelzer and Pelzer, with balloons taking off or landing in the area.
The event helps raise funds for the organization and provides an uplifting experience for cancer patients. The town of Williamston is providing funding in the amount of $10,000 for the event. The funding will come from the hospitality tax fund.The funding will help with expenses associated with hosting the balloon pilots who donate their time for the event, according to Stringer.
Stringer said the event offers “an opportunity to give cancer patients something to look forward to while they are dealing with something terrible.” “It is a bucket list for some,” she said.

Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor recognized two officers for their response to an incident in Williamston. According to Chief Taylor, Officers Cobb and Jackson responded to an alarm activation two times during early morning hours. The resident felt the police would be upset by having to return to the house for a second time, but the officers response in making the situation safe and secure brought a sense of calm because of their professionalism.

Officer L. B. “Jody” Culbertson was recognized with a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. “It is a great responsibility you have in making sure officers are safe and compliant,” Chief Taylor said. “You make sure we are protecting our community.” Crystal Culbertson assisted in pinning the new badge on her husband.

Williamston’s new Fire Chief David Huff was also recognized at the council meeting. Mayor Burgess said Huff brings 25 years of experience to the position. The town has provided funding for a part time person at the fire department in the past, but Huff is the town’s first full time paid fire chief.

Council approved second reading on rezoning property located on Mahaffey Road. The town owned property is is rezoned from Industrial 2 to Multi Family Residential, to allow for a residential housing development.
Council also approved second reading on the abandonment of a small portion of Pelzer Avenue in front of ACE Hardware. The roadway, which the town may or may not have an interest in, is being abandoned as part of the property deal in which Ingles properties is purchasing Town Square Shopping Center.

Council approved first reading on a new ordinance to regulate the delivery of free newspapers, sale papers and other unwanted and unsolicited items.
Councilman Lee Cole, who spearheaded the ordinance, said it “only applies to unsolicited written materials which a resident or property owner didn’t ask for. It provides that free unsolicited materials must be placed in a door secure door hanger or distribution separate from a mail box or personally with the owner.”
He said it is designed to prevent free material from being thrown into yards, driveways and empty lots. Cole said the wording in the ordinance has been upheld by the Supreme Court and it does not violate the first amendment or freedom of the press issues while other similar ordinances in the past had not.

Council approved paving list to present to the Anderson County Transportation Committee. The list includes Anderson Street, Parker Street, Payne Dr., Lakeview Dr. and Whilden Dr.
Council then went into executive session to discuss a personnel issue. upon returning to open session, no action taken.

In comments, Mayor Burgess said work on the pickleball court is slated to begin July 26. He said paint for the block wall around the Palmetto Middle wall mural has been purchased and will be sprayed on soon.