Williamston to consider annexation requests, new facilities to open soon

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During a work session Tuesday, Williamston Mayor Rockey Burgess updated council on several action items to appear on the agenda for the Town Council meeting Monday, Oct. 5.

Burgess said there are three requests for annexation of property located on Belton Hwy. 20, including the Anderson School Districts One and Two Career and Technology campus and two adjacent properties. The Tri-County Tec Foundation has requested annexation of an adjacent 25 acres, which were donated to the CTC and Tri County Technical College in 2020 by the Dr. T. Walter Brashier family. The property is to be used to expand higher education opportunities in the area. A third property, located in the triangle at 608 Belton Hwy., includes 2.67 acres owned by Doug Chapman.

Mayor Burgess said a person interested in purchasing the historic depot and property has asked for a straight up or down vote on the request. The town has been offered $100,000 for the property, Burgess said.

Burgess also told Council that a lot at the old Gatewood Entrance at 100 Mill Street was purchased from Anderson County for delinquent taxes. The town has a sewer easement to about the center of the property, making it unusable for building. The person who purchased the property for $891 at the tax sale has offered to sell it to the town for the amount she paid for it. Burgess is recommending the town purchase the property for that amount. “It could be used for a future trail entrance,” Burgess said.

The mayor said the Town is experiencing problems related to wild hogs and is considering ways to deal with them. Burgess said about a year ago, the Big Creek Water Commission trapped 18 wild hogs in the city limits that put the town in the position of what to do with them. Burgess said the town needs to consider amending town ordinances regarding discharge of firearms to allow police officers or others to be able to dispose of problem animals and meet all SCDNR and local laws.

Several projects are about to be completed. According to Burgess poles and lighting for the new Pickleball Courts will be installed soon. A new camera system will be installed on a center post at the facility, he said. The facility will also offer wifi hot spots. The lighting will be finished before the final seal coating and stripping on the Pickleball Courts and Basketball Courts next week, Burgess said.
The town is also looking at options to seal and restripe the basketball courts at Brookdale Park.

A new Dog Park will officially open with a ribbon cutting planned for next Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. Town residents are invited to bring their “furry friends” to the event and let them try out the new facility, which is located along Big Creek behind the Fire Department.

Burgess said the Town is sending a letter of support to Anderson County for consideration of a fee in lieu of tax agreement for property located on North Hamilton Street. The property includes the new ACE Hardware store and adjacent property that will be the site of additional retail space and represents an investment of over $5 million.

Burgess said the recent work to remove dangerous trees and other cleanup in Mineral Spring Park had to be done for safety reasons and ethetics of other trees. Several large trees were removed due to the center of the trees being hollow. Similar work has moved across West Main Street to Town Hall this week. Town employees will remove the shrubbery and bushes from in front of the Municipal Building on Wednesday. The bushes are causing maintenance problems with the building, the mayor said.

Burgess told Council that the Department of Juvenile Justice had sent the Town a bill for $1500 for housing a juvenile who was placed into detention by a Family Court Order. Burgess said the incident involved a threat made at Palmetto High School by a juvenile that was not from the area and that the incident had been adjudicated. The Town is seeking legal advice on the issue.

A problem with a liner at the Waste Water Treatment Plant could cost the town between $250,000 and $500,000. Mayor Burgess said the town is currently under a consent order by SCDHEC to fix a torn liner at the facility. A new liner will cost approximately $100,000 plus the installation cost, he said. A new liner has been ordered but will take approximately six months for the new liner to come in. A DHEC fine of $7,000 related to the consent order has been reduced to $2,500 the mayor said.