Williamston Town Council takes action on property sales, zoning

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During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard results of the town’s annual audit, approved several property sales and zoning changes.
Auditor Ken Meadows, of Greene, Finney Accounting, told Council the town has received an “modified opinion” on the 2020-21 audit, which is the best it can receive (see separate story).

Faye Meares of First Citizens Bank in Williamston thanked the Williamston Police Department for “an outstanding job” in their handling of the robbery Sept. 14. (See separate story)
Meares said Sargent L. E. Mulz was first on the scene was very calming for the bank staff as were other officers who followed. She also said Chief Taylor was very helpful during the tense moments after the robbery.
Meares said the robbery took less than one minute. “Our teller did everything right,” she said. “The teller took the note from the suspect and gave him an undisclosed amount of cash from the drawer. The officers preserved evidence. You did everything right. Thank you.”
Mayor Rockey Burgess also praised the local police department in being able to piece the evidence together to help identify a suspect, who has been living in Vermont.
(The suspect was recently arrested in Charlotte, NC and is being extradited back to South Carolina to face charges)

Envision Williamston Board Members Marion Williams and Roberta Hamby updated Council on the organization, which has been in the process of re-organizing.
Hamby said the scarecrow decorating contest will begin online voting on Monday. The group is in the process of getting estimates for a fire pit in Mineral Spring Park. They are also planning to honor local veterans on street banners though a project called “Hometown Heroes”.
Envision Williamston is also helping coordinate holiday activities including a tree lighting ceremony for the Christmas Park. The event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 28 this year. Other activities being planned for the event include carriage rides, live nativity, hot chocolate and a holiday market fair.
The all volunteer organization is also looking for board and committee members interested in being a part of making Williamston a better place.

Council approved second reading on five ordinances including:
Sale of property on Rector Road; amending the purchasing policy to allow for an appeal process on grant bids; increasing the planning commission from five to seven members; establishing an R7 zoning district and amended wording in the zoning ordinance to “specify what planned development is”.

In new business, Council approved first reading on an ordinance to rezone property on Brock Lane to the newly established R7, allowing a 7000 square foot lot. The planned development designation will allow the developer more leeway in shifting home sites closer to or further away than the required setbacks and gives the town more say in the project.

The residential project includes construction of sixty homes and will be called Saratoga Villages and Saratoga Oaks.
Mayor Rockey Burgess said, “The developer is eager to get started. This is a project I am very excited about.”

Council authorized the resale of property at 105 W. Second Street. The lot, which included a burned out house, was donated to the town by the Ellis Family, and will be sold to a developer for $10,000. The town has approximately $6,000 in cleanup of the lot, Burgess said.
The mayor said he believes the new home construction on the lot will be the first new home on the mill village in 47 years. Councilman Chris Alexander was instrumental in pushing to allow the cleanup by the town.

Council also approved the sale of a small piece of town owned property on Broad Street to be sold to Phoenix of Anderson. The triangle property is .77 acres and will be sold for $5,000.
Council reluctantly, but unanimously¬† approved first reading on an ordinance to allocate $4,547 for indigent defense. The funding is required to pay for a public defender if required for the town’s municipal court.
Council approved the rezoning of property on South Academy St. (and Main) from R3 single family and duplex to RC Residential/commercial.
Council approved first reading on rezoning property on Minor Street from Multi Family Residential (MFR) to R7.
Council then went into executive session to receive legal advice regarding property development on Mahaffey Road.
Upon returning to open session, Mayor Burgess announced the dates for several upcoming events including Boo in the Park on Oct. 30, Park Lighting on Nov. 28 and a Candle lighting at the Cemetery on Dec. 9.
Upon adjourning, Councilmembers looked over a town map and highlighted potential growth areas.