West Pelzer approves $859,000 budget; hears complaints

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By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Council gave final approval to the 2013-2014 budget Monday night by unanimous vote. Councilman Blake Sanders was not in attendance. The budget, based on anticipated revenues of approximately $859,000 maintains the current millage of .93, and also reflects projected expenditures of approximately $838,000. The Council also heard about several complaints the public had brought to a Councilman’s attention.

In the budget, property taxes, including automobiles, will generate $124,500 in revenues, while business license fees, franchise fees, and court fines will account for an additional $158,800 of revenues included in the general fund, used for the daily operations of the town. The total general fund revenues are projected at $336,692 with projected expenditures of $332,027.

The revenues projected for the water/sewer fund total $522,224 with the lion’s share, $492,000 coming from billings. Projected costs for the operations are $506,000.

Several complaints were from the public were brought to Councilman Robert Alexander’s attention. One concerned a sidewalk in need of repair, while another involved the continued use of the jake brake by tractor trailers passing through town, especially late at night and in early morning hours.

The practice, which creates loud noises, was banned earlier this year by ordinance. Mayor Paxton said she would confer with Police Chief Mike Clardy about stepping up enforcement.

Alexander also reported several complaints about the length of the traffic light at Holiday and Stewart Streets, where they intersect Main. Kevin Paxton, who works for SCDOT, explained that the timing sensors that go in the road bed to change the light won’t be installed until the final paving is done on the current road repairs on Main Street.

During the public comment portion of the agenda, a citizen raised concerns about the improper disposal of garbage by the residents of a mobile home park on Drake Street. The information that the park operator was in the process of providing each resident with the proper trash can seemed to resolve the issue.

She also complained about the quality and appearance of the vegetation in the median of the street beautification project. She asked to be allowed to spray Round Up, a commercial herbicide, to kill the plants so they could be replaced; but Alexander pointed out that the town’s crews have to provide a written accounting of each time they use that chemical.

Mayor Paxton, not for the first time, clearly expressed her displeasure with the plants as well. “The whole thing is a disaster. It looks terrible.”