Category Archives: Williamston

Heritage Day Saturday at Artory

Anyone with an interest in finding out more about the history of Williamston or sharing their own information or artifacts about the Williamston area is invited to attend “Williamston Heritage Day” this Saturday, April 25 at the Artory in Williamston. The event will be held from 10 am to 5 pm.

A 1930’s silent film of Williamston will be shown during Heritage Day. Organizer Susan Martin said “We have a lot of questions about the origin of the film and the names of people shown. The film shows shift changes at Gossett Mill; the Mammoth Hotel; the Goat Man; Main Street; students leaving the Goodjion school; and much more. Please invite your family members to come at no charge to see this film and help us name people. Copies of the film will be available for sale for $10 each.

The history of Williamston is being shared through memories and memorabilia that has been passed through generations of local residents. Among them, tales of energizing spring water; a thriving community of hotels, restaurants and theaters; and a school system reaching unbelievable heights are a few of the most recently told stories to local writer, Susan Martin.

Work begins on Mineral Spring Trail project

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Work on Williamston’s Mineral Spring Trail project is currently underway. The multi-use walking/biking trail will begin at the Veterans Park, extend along Big Creek to the covered bridge, then along the creek and behind the fire department, ending behind the town’s maintenance sheds off Minor St. The Town of Williamston received a $100,000 SCPRT grant for the multi use trail project. The grant is the first trails grant awarded in Anderson County.

Pig in the Park taking applications for vendors

Organizers of the Pig in the Park BBQ Festival and Cookoff are now accepting applications for business and craft vendors interested in participating in the event on Saturday, Mar 16.

Applications are due by Apr. 30. Space fee for 12×10 space is $75. $25 for each additional five feet. No tables or chairs are provided. Canopies are welcomed and encouraged but must not exceed booth space.

Any area business or craft vedor interested in having a display booth at the festival is asked to contact Heather Holcombe at 947-6231.

Additional information and vendor application forms are available on the website at www.williamstonpiginpark.com

Toddler playground now in Mineral Spring Park

New toddler playground equipment has been installed in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park. Total cost for equipment $14,758.13. Shipping added $1,915.39 for total $16,673.52

The equipment includes a Super Scoot, Wally the Whale Spring Rider, Firetruck Spring Rider, ASA/Wheelchair Accessible half ramp, playground border with surfacing guide, rubber mulch and Duraliner.

The Super-D-Duper Scoot and Slide Playground was the most expensive piece at $6,653 and was discounted from original price of $13,306. It includes multiple slides and musical activities to offer physical challenges with musical education with a whistle, drums and rain wheel.

Street Enhancement project gets modification

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Work to remove two of the bulbouts of Williamston’s Street Enhancement project began this week. The Town officially requested the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) make the change after numerous complaints about the new bulbouts and safety concerns were raised about emergency vehicles being able to navigate West Main during peak traffic times.  (Photo by Michael Lollis)

Toddler playground receives finishing touches

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Cody Wishnok spreads a rubber mulch product while working on the finishing touches of a new toddler playground in Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. The new playground equipment includes a Super Scoot, Wally the Whale Spring Rider, Firetruck Spring Rider, ASA/Wheelchair Accessible half ramp, playground boarder with surfacing guide, rubber mulch and Duraliner.

Lee Steam Station coal to gas upgrade/conversion complete

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By David Meade/Stan Welch

An innovative project to convert Duke Energy’s W. S. Lee Steam station near Williamston from coal to gas and retrofit a 57 year old steam turbine has recently been completed.

More than sixty years ago, Duke Power, as they were known then, built the William States Lee steam plant. The plant was named for a man who was instrumental in building the Duke Power system over the thirty one years of his career with the energy giant. Lee began as an engineer and became the company’s top man.

When the plant was placed into operation in 1951 it was one of the most modern and efficient power plants Duke Power had constructed. It was also innovative and engineered looking to the future.

The plant was constructed with three coal fired steam turbine units and designed so that it could be converted to natural gas one day. Fifty-seven years later that day has arrived.

Williamston begins budget work

Mayor proposes five percent pay raise

By Stan Welch

Mayor Mack Durham wasted little time at Thursday’s budget workshop, declaring his intentions to present a significant budget amendment at the next Council meeting. Durham explained that the Town’s finances are in very good shape, and that several pressing needs can be addressed during the current budget year, while still making a substantial addition to the town’s contingency funds.

Durham explained that while the Town has been addressing its financial challenges, some maintenance and equipment issues have been allowed to go by the wayside. But the most pressing need, according to Durham, is pay raises for the Town’s employees. “It has been ten years since the employees have had a raise, so I will be offering a budget amendment that will provide an immediate across the board five per cent increase to every employee.”

Lee Steam now running on natural gas

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Initial Web Post (A revised version of this article was posted Apr. 15)

 By David Meade

An innovative project to retrofit a 57 year old coal fired steam turbine at Duke Energy’s W. S. Lee Steam station near Williamston has recently been completed. When the plant was placed into operation in 1951 it was one of the most modern and efficient power plants Duke Power had constructed. It was also innovative and engineered looking to the future.

Mayor proposes five percent pay raise

By Stan Welch

Mayor Mack Durham wasted little time at Thursday’s budget workshop, declaring his intentions to present a significant budget amendment at the next Council meeting. Durham explained that the Town’s finances are in very good shape, and that several pressing needs can be addressed during the current budget year, while still making a substantial addition to the town’s contingency funds.

Durham explained that while the Town has been addressing its financial challenges, some maintenance and equipment issues have been allowed to go by the wayside. But the most pressing need, according to Durham, is pay raises for the Town’s employees. “It has been ten years since the employees have had a raise, so I will be offering a budget amendment that will provide an immediate across the board five per cent increase to every employee.”

Dancing event raises money for local charities

Williamston Mayor Mack Durham Durham and dancing partner Lisa Burns will be among local celebrity dancers participating in the 9th Annual Dancing for Our Heroes being held Friday, April 17th at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center of Anderson.

Durham Dancing

Presented by the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, it’s modeled after the popular ABC TV show Dancing with the Stars. It will raise money for eight local charities as well as PolioPlus, the Rotary Foundation’s initiative to eradicate polio as a crippling disease world-wide. Durham and Burns will be dancing for Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM).

AIM is a local 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of those in our community who are struggling by providing long-term solutions by coupling emergency assistance with positive accountability and opportunities for quality of life improvements through education and employment. AIM’s programs seek to provide clients a “hand up” rather than a “hand out.”

Durham said, “I need your help in doing something good for our community! I have been asked to serve as one of ten local celebrity dancers competing in “Dancing for our Heroes VII.”

Voters will decide if town should change form of government

By David Meade

Williamston voters will have the opportunity to go to the polls on Tuesday, June 9 to show the mayor and council if they want the town’s form of government to be changed. After considerable discussion during their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council voted 3-2 to move forward with a referendum to allow residents to decide if they want to change the Form of Government the town operates under.

The town currently operates under a strong mayor form of government. Three of the town’s four councilmembers would like to see that changed to a strong council form of government. Councilmembers Rockey Burgess, David Harvell and Otis Scott voted in favor of a motion made by Councilman Scott to proceed with the referendum. Councilman Tony Hagood and Mayor Mack Durham were opposed.

During public comments two people spoke on the issue.

Funding obtained for toddlers playground install

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Senator O’Dell presented a check for a $3000 PRT grant to Williamston officials recently to help with installation of new toddlers playground equipment in Mineral Spring Park. Pictured are (l-r) Councilman Otis Scott, Mayor Mack Durham, Sen. O’Dell, Parks and Recreation Committe Chair Kempie Shepard, Town Clerk Michelle Starnes and Anderson County Administrator and Williamston Grant Assistant Rusty Burns.

Playground equipment purchased by the Town of Williamston several months ago is expected to be installed around the third week of April, thanks to efforts of Senator Billy O’Dell and Williamston Town Council.

The equipment designed for toddlers was purchased with SCPRT grant funding of $12500 which was obtained through the efforts of Sen. Billy O’Dell and and additional $3462 obtained by Cindy Wilson from Anderson County.

Wayfinding signs, toddlers playground coming to Williamston

In addition to addressing the referendum to change the form of government during their regular meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved funding for three way finding signs, changes in wrecker fees, funding for toddler playground equipment installation and a date change for the July 4th Freedom Celebration Fireworks.

In a 3-2 vote, council approved $6000 for three Way Finding signs. The 60” x 48” signs will reflect the town’s Historic Williamston Main Street Program branding and provide arrowed directions to Mineral Spring Park, Town Hall, the Artory and the Farmers Market. The signs will be blue with premium reflective destination graphics.

Cultural Arts Center to host Heritage Day

Anyone with an interest in finding out more about the history of Williamston or sharing their own information or artifacts about the area is invited to attend “Williamston Heritage Day” April 25 at the Artory in Williamston. The event will be held from 10 am to 5 pm.

Heritage Day participants will be able to rent a table to display memorabilia. The table fee is $10 and can be paid in cash or by check. Proceeds from the event will go directly to the Artory, also known as the Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center, located at 123 Gossett Street.

“This event is open to anyone with an interest in Williamston’s history from the 1800s to present day,” said local historian Connie Barnwell. “It is for anyone who would like to share their heritage in memories, pictures, or artifacts of the widespread community of Williamston.”

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