Chapman Park ready to bid; burning in town to be restricted


By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, West Pelzer Town Council heard an update on the Chapman Park project, discussed leaf and limb pickup and burning, clean up of property on Drake St. and purchasing bulbs for Christmas lights. Council also approved a new procedure for requesting information.

Michael Allen, of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood firm which is designing the project said that drawings are finished and the project is ready to advertise.

He said that DHEC required the grade to be changed so that there would not be as much runoff toward the road, resulting in a four to five foot berm around the property.

Allen said the change actually improved the project, allowing the walkway to meander and softening the design.

Allen said that recent changes also included two planters to one centered with access around each side, moving it back from the road, rotating the veterans memorial so that it is inside the park and placing the park sign on the back side of the memorial facing the road.

Mayor Paxton said that the changes were made because, “People look at it and think it is a veterans park. It doesn’t necessarily look like a kids park.” With the changes she said, “People will feel welcome and bring the kids.”

The new design has only one flag pole at the memorial and medallions for each branch of service will be fixed on a wall, she said.

Allen explained the bid process, where to advertise and the need to set a date for bid opening. Council unanimously approved a motion by Mayor Peggy Paxton to proceed with advertising the project with the changes.

Council also approved spending $1040 for new light bulbs and a strand of wire for Christmas decorations. The funding will come from the town’s hospitality tax fund.

Paxton said money already budgeted but not used for the Fall Festival and the Christmas Parade could be used for the purchase.

The town will purchase 1850 bulbs at a price of $740 and a roll of string light wire for $300 plus tax.

Council discussed removing rubble from lot on Drake Street where a mobile home was being torn down and removed. Apparently the person responsible for removing the debris had trouble with a vehicle and was delayed. An adjacent property owner requested council allow them to finish cleaning up the property with the agreement that the town deed the property to them.

It was decided that the other adjacent property owner would be contacted before a decision is made.

Council discussed setting burning restrictions for limbs and leaves in the town.

During discussions, Mayor Paxton said the easy solution would be to stop all burning in the town, but that there was no way to get rid of the debris. She said the burning and resulting smoke was causing problems for people on oxygen and others. It was decided to limit burning to Friday and Saturday at certain hours.

The new guideline will be presented for first reading in an ordinance at the next meeting of council.

The town will offer a one time pickup of leaves and limbs on Saturday, Dec. 10. Leaves must be in bags and limbs must be shorter than four feet long.

The mayor and new councilmembers will be installed in a special ceremony on Tuesday January 3.

Council approved a request made by town clerk Paula Payton for a new procedure for requesting information.

According to Payton, the new procedure is not to limit access to information, but to protect her, town employees and councilmembers from rumors and accusations.

The new guideline requires an emailed or scheduled appointment for a request for information and for the person receiving the information to sign for it.

Paxton said she was recommending the procedure so that “there will not be any confusion whether people are receiving any information.”

There was also some discussion about making repairs on a driveway where work was done in relocating a water meter.