During their meeting Tuesday, West Pelzer Town Council heard an update on the sewer system sale to ReWa, plans to address traffic on Palmetto Road and a new four way stop. They also heard a report on two traffic incidents that drew a lot of attention and caused problems early Sunday morning and on Monday.
West Pelzer Municipal Clerk Paula Payton reported she recently completed the MASC Business License Officials course.
Payton is also serving as a member of the Community Connections Committee (CCC), which is a sub-committee of Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. As the municipal representative, she appointed three area representatives to the CCC. They are Chaplain Roy Lee Jones of Belton, Assistant to the Mayor Leslie Walker of Honea Path and Councilwoman Donna Ide of Pelzer.
There were 23 work orders completed in the month of March.
Payton also announced that the transfer of the town sewer lines and pump station to ReWa was completed March 31. Payton said there will be no change in the service or rates, however starting with the May billing, customers will see a difference on the billing description on their utility bill.
She reminded residents that Waste Industries (GFL) is now only picking up garbage in their trash bins. Additional bins can be obtained at the discounted rate of $5 per month.
West Pelzer Police Chief Scott Stoller reported the Department had 14 reports written with 3 arrests.
Of those one was driving under suspension, one was threatening the life of a public official. The third involved a traffic stop for speeding that turned into a chase through Pelzer and West Pelzer ending in a wreck. The driver is facing charges of speeding, resisting arrest, resisting with a deadly weapon and no driver’s license.
There were 40 tickets written with 16 warnings.
Stoller announced that Sgt. Brandon Rogers has been promoted to Lieutenant. Rogers was also recognized by CrimeStoppers for helping apprehend an armed bank robber involved in a robbery in Greenville County and later admitted to another bank robbery in Pickens County.
There will a Clean-up Day in West Pelzer on April 30 with additional items being picked up.
Excluded items include no tires, batteries, pain or white goods (appliances).
Chief Stoller said new stop signs are being placed at Welborn and Dendy Streets the first of May.
There will be advanced warning signs and flags. Stoller said drivers will be allowed to get adjusted to the stop signs for 30 days with only warnings being issued. After that there will be tickets written.
Stoller also updated council on a traffic incident Easter Sunday morning in which the driver of a Hummer struck and brought down several power poles and a bench on Main Street. (Hwy. 8). The incident “devastated the area in front of town hall,” he said.
Main Street was closed for approximately six hours while work crews replaced the broken poles and downed power lines. SC Highway Patrol was investigating the incident.
Stoller also updated council on a traffic stop Monday that resulted in a chase through Pelzer which ended in a crash. (See separate story)
West Pelzer Poet Laureat James Campbell recognized two people who submitted poems of their “favorite memory”. The contest was the third for the town. Larsen Guill was recognized as second runner up for her reflections in a piece call “Forever” about wedding day emotions. First place winner was Mishelle Gray-Jones for a piece entitled “On the Porch” which she read.
SCDOT commissioner Pam Christopher presented information on addressing safety concerns at the intersection of Palmetto Road and West Stewart Street.
Christopher said a West Pelzer resident brought up the concerns and made recommendations. As a result, SCDOT will reduce the speed limit, set up a school speed limit zone for certain times and install solar flashers for the school speed limit.
Speed limit on Palmetto Road will be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph. The school speed zone will reduce speed limit to 25 mph from 7:15 am to 8:15 am and 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm. There will also be a higher fine associated with violations.
She said the citizen request for a four way stop was not being recommended to address the traffic control, but can be revisited in the future.
Council unanimously approved second reading on an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance to clarify commercial zoning along Main Street.
Council approved first reading on an updated franchise agreement with Duke Energy. The agreement adds a five percent charge to power bills which the town uses to pay for lighting throughout town and at Chapman Park.
Council approved first reading to amend the budget to reflect the addition of proceed from sewer system sale to ReWa.
West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders said the town has received $349,048 from ReWa for the purchase of the town’s sewer lines and pump station. Second reading on the budget amendment will be held at the May 8 council meeting.
Council approved a resolution to submit a final payment for a “Buy-In” agreement with Greenville Water. According to Mayor Sanders, in 2015 the town purchased 100,000 gallons of daily water capacity at a cost of approximately $120,000. The “buy-in” will allow more flexibility and options for utility bills in the future, according to town clerk Paula Payton.
Mayor Sanders said with the town will look at a possible decrease in water rates or increase in service resulting from the agreement.
Sanders reported that approximately $84,000 of the ARPA funds are being used to purchase 506 new radio read water meters for the town. Of those, 380 will be installed and the rest will placed into storage and used as needed. The town began upgrading to the radio read meters in 2017 as funds came available.
Renovations were recently completed at Town Hall. Renovations included replacing damaged floors and baseboards, new carpet and adding security cameras at Town Hall, O’Dell Community Center and Chapman Park. Cost for the renovations was approximately $40,000.