Municipal Center to get new parking area

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By David Meade

Williamston Town Council approved second reading on the town’s new code ordinance, heard plans for parking lot improvements at the rear of the municipal center, accepted ownership of a piece of property that could have historic value and filled two vacancies on the town’s planning commission during their regular monthly meeting Monday.

The new code ordinance book is a complete catalog of the town’s ordinances which have recently been updated and codified . . .

Parking improvements

Council approved proceeding with plans to upgrade the parking lot area behind the Williamston Municipal Center. Planner Kevin Laird presented information and a drawing of the planned improvements which include tearing up the old bus circle drop off and other pavement, replacing asphalt and providing for 69 marked parking spaces.

Laird also said the plan includes a new unloading and parking area for the police department and a designated drop off area at the rear of the Municipal Center for items needed for events inside the Municipal Center Auditorium.

There will be a concrete area for the recycling dumpster bins and a marked crossing to the ballfield area.

Councilman Mack Durham suggested looking into adding a sidewalk from the parking lot to Main St. to the project.

Council unanimously agreed to accept the plan and to add the sidewalk as an option when the project is bid. The town has budgeted $250,000 for the project which will be put out for bid in coming weeks.

Historic property

Williamston resident and former councilman, Marion Middleton Jr. offered to donate a property on Mill St. to the town.

The property, located near the entrance to Gatewood Subdivision, has the remains of a dam on it and includes an area which Middleton said could be an old rock quarry or grist mill. Middleton said there may be an old rail engine which was used at the quarry in the water there. The property also could possibly have remains of an old shoe factory which predated the Civil War, according to Middleton. Council unanimously accepted the property which is valued at $7000.

Appointees

Jim Simpson was named to the town’s economic development committee. Simpson recently resigned as head of the town’s planning commission.

Marion Middleton, Jr. (at large) and Anna Clanton (Ward 3) were named to the town’s planning commission.

Veterans Day program

Williamston Mayor Carthel Crout announced that there will be a Veterans Day program at the Town’s war memorial this Friday, Nov. 11 at 10:20 a.m.

The Palmetto High AFJROTC will march from the high school to the memorial to participate in the program. Lt. Colonel Mike Creamer said 137 cadets will leave the school at 9:45 a.m. and march with a police escort to the memorial located on Minor St. at the ballfields.

“It is important that we recognize our veterans who have served this great nation,” Mayor Crout said.

Designer drugs

The mayor also said that the town will enforce recently passed state and federal laws which make possession of designer drugs such as “bath salts” and “K2 “synthetic marijuana a criminal offense. Crout said that the Anderson County ban is a civil offense, however he has instructed the police department to enforce the federal and state laws.

Public concerns

Councilman Mike Looper said that the state has a mortgage help program for persons about to lose their homes. Looper said that the state has $297 million available through the program and more information can be found at their website at www.scmortgage.com.

Mayor Crout also reminded citizens that the town is offering a prescription drug card program which can save persons without health insurance 20 to 30 percent on prescription drugs. There is no cost to participate and cards are available at the Williamston Municipal Center. to anyone interested in the program.

A resident of Caroline St. addressed council concerning crime and problems associated with rental houses on the street. She said she has called Williamston police when she felt endangered and experienced slow response times and rude behavior from officers when they showed up.

She also asked what could be done to force the owner of the rental houses to bring them up to code or have them demolished.

Christmas Parade

Walt Smith Sr. announced that the Williamston Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. Smith has organized the parade for 20 years.