By Stan Welch
It’s not often that a public official is encouraged by being turned down when requesting funds for road repairs; but that was exactly how Williamston Mayor Mack Durham felt after meeting with the Anderson County Transportation Committee Monday afternoon. Durham had appeared to ask the committee for approximately $222,000 to resurface Ellison Street and Hill Drive, which he describes as the worst of the worst streets in town. “When I asked the street department guys what our worst roads were, Ellison came up immediately. Honestly, there are large parts of it that aren’t really a street anymore.”
The committee listened to his request and then declined, asking instead that the town submit a revised plan for a reclamation project, which will involve much more extensive and long lasting repairs.
Durham gladly agreed. “That worked out really well for us,” Durham said in a telephone interview. “They said that when a road reaches a certain percentage that needs repair it is better to do a reclamation, so we will be redrawing our project to submit to them as soon as they meet again.”
The ACTC allocates road funds generated by the state tax on gasoline. They normally meet twice a year, which had Durham concerned until he learned that they have planned a special called meeting concerning some other issues for late August or early September.
“We will have our new project ready to submit to the committee by that next meeting, I can assure you. The town and I, as mayor, appreciate the professionalism of the committee in encouraging us to do what is best in the long run, instead of just putting a band aid on an open wound.”
Other requests approved by the committee Monday included state roads Dixie Drive ($116,000); Sauer Farm Road ($335,000); Manley Drive ($142,000); Don Avenue ($200,000); and Avondale Road ($55,000) for a total of $848,000.