Pelzer clerk to retire, council hears complaint about trash

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By Stan Welch -Pelzer Town Council were told that their municipal clerk plans to retire and the council heard complaints from the public concerning a problem caused by the contractor who picks up the garbage in the town.

The Pelzer Town Council accepted long time municipal clerk Skip Watkins’ retirement Friday afternoon in near silence. Watkins, who has served the town since 1992, announced that his retirement will be effective as of November 1, 2012.

He assured the Mayor and Council that he will remain available for consultation. “I want to insure a smooth transition, and I would like to see the sewer project wrapped up before I go.” Watkins had kept the announcement secret from everyone but the Mayor and his assistant, Heather Holcombe. (See a related story elsewhere in this issue of The Journal.)

In other business, the Mayor, with Council’s approval, signed the documents necessary to finalize the town’s arrangement with ReWa concerning the sewer system. Once the phase II forced main project is completed later this year, ReWa will begin closing down the town’s lagoons and treatment plant.

The Council, at Watkins’ suggestion, tabled any action on the TriStar cellular tower contract, to allow town attorney Jimmy King more time to review the documents and make some minor changes.

The Council, like those in West Pelzer and Williamston before them, heard from Tiffany Widmore, representing GPATS, or the Greenville Pickens Area Transport Study. Recent changes revealed by the 2010 census have resulted in a redrawing of the lines between GPATS and ANATs, the Anderson area counterpart.

GPATS is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) of the Greenville Pickens County area. As a result of the 2010 U.S. Census, Pelzer has been included in the growing Greenville area, as have the other towns mentioned. GPATS is designed to produce both short term and long term planning for the area’s transportation needs.

Widmore explained that while Anderson County also has an MOP, the Greenville/Pickens area normally receives approximately $16 million a year for projects, while Anderson receives approximately $2.5 million. The funds are federal highway funds that are administered at the state and local levels. She said she would anticipate that the funding will increase since new areas are being taken into the GPATS boundaries.

The Council also heard complaints from the public concerning a problem caused by the contractor who picks up the garbage in the town. That contractor is former mayor Kenneth Davis. Keith Watson appeared before the Council to complain that Davis’s compactor truck leaks both fluids and garbage onto the street. “You can see it in front of my house and a lot of other people’s houses too. My Dad is in his seventies, and he’s out in the street trying to bleach the stains and the smell away.”

Watson, who lives on Adger Street, said he has tried to address the issue with Davis, but has had no luck. “I tried several times to talk to him and he actually called the law on me, and told them I was harassing him. I don’t wish him any harm, but this isn’t right. It’s not safe and the next phone calls I make won’t be to him. Enough’s enough.”

Watkins sought and received permission from the Council and Mayor to send Davis a letter telling him that the conditions described are not in compliance with his contract and if he fails to correct the problem, the contract could be voided.