Category Archives: Williamston

MLK breakfast honors Civil Rights leader

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“The Dream Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

By David Meade

The Town of Williamston remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a first annual MLK breakfast and memorial program Saturday at the Artory. The breakfast commemorated Dr. King’s life and legacy and comments from the program’s featured speakers reflected the program theme of “The Dream Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Greenville County Council District 3 representative Jil Littlejohn was the featured speaker and closed the program.

Main Street project continues with congestion

Construction traffic 3

The Williamston Main Street enhancement project continues to take shape on Friday morning with traffic congestion downtown expected. The project is expected to be complete in March.

Construction on Friday

Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast Saturday

By David Meade

The Town of Williamston will host a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast this Saturday, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Artory. Williamston Ward One Town Councilman Tony Hagood is organizing the event. The breakfast will commemorate Dr. King’s life and legacy and will include live entertainment, special guest speakers and recognition of 2014 Black History Month Honorees.

Greenville County Council District 3 representative Jil Littlejohn is the featured speaker. Littlejohn is a native of inner-city Atlanta and is the first female President and CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate.

Single arched culvert planned for Gatewood

May take up to six months to complete

By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) got some good news Monday concerning the cost of repairing and restoring access to the Gatewood subdivision in Williamston. They also received some bad news regarding how long it will take to complete the project.

Terry Bragg, an engineer with CoTransco, the consulting and program management firm recently hired by ACTC, reported that the projected cost of the project could be as much as $100,000 less than the $425,000 previously allocated by the Committee. Bragg reported that engineers from his company had inspected and reviewed the site; and had determined the best course will involve replacing the two side by side, unmatched culverts, which are currently anchored in a gradually collapsing block face wall, with a single arched culvert.

Williamston Main Street Enhancement underway

Sidewalk pictures-4res

Workers pour concrete at the corner of Minor Street and West Main in the first step of a street enhancement project currently underway in Williamston. The project will encompass the stretch of West Main Street (Hwy. 20) in front of the Municipal Center from McDonalds to the bridge over Big Creek. The project will include bulb outs, planters with landscaping, pedestrian ramps where sidewalks cross roads and drives and two new pedestrian crosswalks. It is expected to be completed in about four weeks if there are no weather related delays, officials said. The project had been on the drawing board for town officials and SCDOT for a number of years, but was put on hold when state finances became tight and it was decided by the state that SCDOT engineers would oversee the state funded enhancement projects. Earlier plans calling for a turning lane at Minor Street were eliminated on the new plan. A new bulb out will eliminate what has been for years an unofficial lane for vehicles traveling east to pass vehicles turning left onto Minor Street. (Photo by Michael Lollis)

Gatewood subdivision residents express frustrations, safety concerns

By David Meade

Gatewood residents expressed frustrations and concerns about the entrance into their subdivision during the Williamston Town Council meeting Monday.

Concerns ranged from the safety of school buses, emergency vehicles and a Leachate tanker crossing the damaged entrance to what will happen if the entrance becomes impassable.

Matthew Johnson said that the notice that school buses would not be going over the entrance raised concerns for him that emergency vehicles including ambulances or fire trucks would also not be safe crossing the overpass.

Johnson stated that the town’s elected officials, particularly the mayor, were not living up to their oath of office. He said that the residents access was cut off for a few hours during a rain event Christmas week and the potential is there to be cut off longer. He suggested that town employees were acting outside their scope by allowing vehicles to be driven over the damaged roadway overpass. He said from a budget standpoint, “health and safety should be first. Not crap tankers rolling over the road first.”

Funding approved for park shelter cleanup, MLK breakfast

By David Meade

During their first meeting of the new year, Williamston Town Council swore in two councilmemebers, approved funding for a MLK breakfast, abandoned and closed Hospital Street, approved “In God We Trust” lettering for Council chambers and heard from Gatewood residents.

The Gatewood issue took approximately one hour of the meeting. (See separate story).

Following that discussion, council went into an executive session lasting approximately 45 minutes to hear legal advice and discuss an economic development issue concerning rail development. Upon returning to regular session, council unanimously approved an ordinance which abandons and closes Hospital Street. The street is approximately 80 feet between property owned by the Williamsotn Presbyterian church and Greenville & Western Railway.

Williamston Town Council highlights

During their first meeting of the new year Monday, Williamston Town Council swore in two councilmen, approved funding for a MLK breakfast, abandoned and closed Hospital Street, approved “In God We Trust” lettering for Council chambers and heard from Gatewood residents.

Reelected councilmembers Rockey Burgess (Ward 2) and Tony Hagood (Ward 1) were sworn in.

Burgess’ wife Wendy administered the oath of office while son Austin held the Bible. Burgess is serving his first full term on council. Hagood was administered the oath of office by Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor. Councilman David Harvell was elected Mayor Pro Tem.

During public comments, TommyWalker complained about the Christmas Parade being spaced out and stated that 4 wheelers in the parade were dangerous. Walker also said someone should look into the maintenance fee Fort Hill Gas charges on their billing.

A number of Gatewood residents expressed frustrations and concerns about the dangers of the one entrance into their subdivision.

Concerns ranged from the safety of school buses, emergency vehicles and a Leachate tanker crossing the damaged entrance to what will happen if the entrance becomes impassable or a vehicle falls into the creek. (More detailed information about the meeting will be posted soon)

School bus stop temporarily changed – Gatewood Subdivision

Anderson School District One officials announced Monday that due to safety concerns, school bus service into the Gatewood subdivision has been temporarily suspended.

A letter sent to residents and town officials this week states the bus stop location will be temporarily changed to Mill St at Woodmere Ct. which is at the entrance to the Gatewood Subdivision.

The letter states that the bus stop location is being changed due to the problems with the Woodmere Ct. entrance into the subdivision which prevents any bus from traveling the road safely.

Students in third grade or below will require someone to be at the bus stop location before the student can be released from the bus.

The announcement caused additional concern for residents of Gatewood who expressed concerns at the Williamston Town Council meeting Monday.

Mayor Mack Durham repeatedly stated that county engineers have determined the entrance, which crosses Big Creek is safe for one lane travel until permanent repairs can be made.

The statement did little to aleviate concerns of residents and frustrations with the time it has taken to get the lone entrance into the subdivision repaired.

Williamston Street Enhancement project set to begin

After several years of being on hold, Williamston’s Phase 2 Street Enhancement Project is set to get underway. Workers have been marking utilities and placing signs along West Main St. preparing for work to begin next week, officials said.

The project will encompass the stretch of Hwy. 20 (West Main Street) in front of the Municipal Center and Mineral Spring Park from McDonalds to the bridge over Big Creek.

The project has been on the drawing board for town officials and SCDOT for a number of years, but was put on hold when state finances became tight and it was decided by the state that SCDOT engineers would oversee the state funded enhancement projects.

Gatewood entrance causing more concerns

A storm related washout that has caused concerns for the town and residents of Gatewood Subdivision became more of a problem last week. Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said that recent rains caused a recurrence of problems at the previously repaired site at the Gatewood Subdivision entrance. Anderson County Public Works Director Holt Hopkins was contacted and came out and assessed the roadway last week after the problem was discovered.

Durham said a county crew was sent to stabilize the roadway and that single lane traffic will continue to be utilized to maintain access.

Scott to contest charges in dispute with neighbor

Otis Scott’s attorney said this week a recent charge against Scott is the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding he had with a neighbor.

Scott has retained Williamston attorney Lee Cole to represent him in the case resulting from an incident in which Scott removed a mailbox belonging to Daniel Keeler from his (Scott’s) property and placed it on Keeler’s front porch.

Cole recently released the following statement about the incident: “The charge against Mr. Scott is the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding that he had with a neighbor. However, Mr. Scott committed no criminal act, and he is completely innocent of the charge against him . . .”

Duke Energy to remove coal ash by truck

From Lee Steam site

Officials with Duke Energy announced Thursday (Dec. 18) that they are planning to excavate 3.2 million tons of coal ash currently on the property of the Lee Steam Station near Williamston.

Duke Energy submitted filings to state regulators this week outlining the excavation plans. According to a new release, the company has selected Waste Management to excavate and transport ash from the inactive basin and ash fill area to a fully lined solid waste landfill in Homer, Ga., operated by Waste Management. Trucks will haul the ash because the landfill has no rail access.

Excavation of these two areas of the site represents about 44 percent of ash on the property and is expected to take about three years once Duke Energy receives SCDHEC approval of the plan and all required permits.

Main St. Director resigns

Williamston’s Main Street Program Director Caroline Alex has announced that she is resigning her position with the town’s economic development program effective Dec. 26. Alex has served as the programs coordinator for one year. She will be taking a position with Clemson University.

Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said he was “happy for Caroline” and “the town was fortunate to have had such a talented person to help get the program founded.” He said he was equally excited to begin the process of finding another professional to carry the program forward.

Durham said he will work with Main Street SC Director Beppie LeGrand and Main Street Williamston Board Chairman Jonathan Fowler during the interview process to find a new director for the Main Street Williamston program.

Scott to contest charges for removing mail box

By Stan Welch

As a result of a dispute with a neighbor, town councilman Otis Scott appeared before the judge in the Powdersville Summary Court last week, Scott, who currently serves on the Williamston Town Council as the Ward Four representative, has been charged with malicious damage to real property.

On October 2, Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputy B.S. Chandler received a telephone complaint from Daniel Keeler who once resided at 5 A Street in Williamston. Scott lives at 4 A Street. Keeler, who, according to the incident report on file at the ACSO, now lives in Forney Texas, but still owns the residence on A Street, complained that Scott had sent him an e-mail, telling him that on September 27 he had removed Keeler’s mailbox; which Scott claimed was on his property, and had placed it on Keeler’s front porch.

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