Long meeting results in no action on Williamston issues


By Stan Welch

After enduring a meeting that lasted over five hours, Williamston Mayor Mack Durham and other town officials were once again disappointed in their efforts to place the Williamston Police Department under the authority of the County’s Central Dispatch system.

Delayed by a cumbersome agenda of almost three pages in length, and virtually paralyzed by a public hearing at which dozens of citizens spoke, the Council failed to complete the agenda; and never got to two big issues concerning Williamston residents, including the Gray Drive bridge and the question of Central Dispatch.

The town has been seeking to be included in the county’s central dispatch, rather than continue their own dispatch system, which results in delays when citizens call 911 to report a crime or the need for a policeman. Those calls then have to be relayed to the Williamston dispatcher.

Councilwoman Cindy Wilson and County Administrator Rusty Burns recently assured the town that there would be no charge involved in joining the county system.

The Council did manage to approve a resolution commemorating fifty years of service by the Anderson County Fire Protection Service. Councilman Tommy Dunn, a member of the fire commission, presented the resolution, and more than thirty firefighters and commissioners were on hand for the presentation.

The Council received the annual report from the Appalachian Council of Government (ACOG) from its executive director, Steve Pellisier. He informed the Council that Anderson County had received a return of fifty four dollars for each of the $74,948 invested.

The total of $4,048,801 returned to the county included $500,000 in direct federal grants; $1.7 million in workforce development; $414,961 in services to seniors; and $562,000 in small business loans.

Among the services provided to the seniors included almost 49,000 meals served, as well as shelter, and medical care. Funding was also provided to Senior Solutions for the purchase of a vehicle for transport of seniors to various places.

Pelissier also reported that ACOG administered the grants for the West Pelzer and Williamston water and sewer system improvements. Both projects received $447,611 in community development block grants.