By David Meade
For several months now citizens and elected officials in Pelzer and some in West Pelzer have discussed the possibilities that annexation of property could bring to both towns. Larry Coker lists seven reasons why he believes now is the perfect time for people, who are outside the town limits of Pelzer, to want to be annexed and become a part of the town.
West Pelzer officials have annexed several properties adding to the town’s boundaries and Pelzer officials have hosted more than one meeting in which annexation has been brought up and discussed. There has even been some discussion about the ultimate annexation, the two towns joining to become one.
A group of people interested in the future of Pelzer recently met at the Pelzer community building to talk about crime, police protection and other issues affecting Pelzer. One of the biggest on the agenda was the issue of annexation.
Larry Coker, who grew up in Pelzer and is a member of the Pelzer Heritage Commission moderated the meeting. He said that the focus of the meeting was to form a committee to look into the issues affecting Pelzer, especially annexation.
During that meeting, Coker said that when he and others began talking with people about becoming a part of the town, they needed to be able to “give people a reason” to want to be a part of the town. Coker said that many people are scared of taxes that they think will come with being in the town limits.
After doing considerable research and following up on the meeting, Coker and his committee came up with the following information which supports why Pelzer Mill Village residents should consider becoming residents of the Town which provides them with water and sewer and could provide other services including police protection.
Coker lists seven reasons why he believes now is the perfect time for Pelzer people, who are outside the town limits, to want to be annexed and become a part of the town. The reasons are:
1) There are no taxes in Pelzer.
2) You pay almost the same fees now as the people in the City limits (besides a municipal fee ) Both of you pay for water, sewer and a surcharge for treatment of sewer. I figured that the people who are outside the city limits are paying more revenue to the town than the people who are in the city limits, so with no taxes why would you not want into the city limits.
3) If you join now and they decide to start taxes – then you would have a vote.
4) If taxes are ever put in effect, then senior citizens would be protected by Homestead Exemption Act and the State would pay all or a big portion of that to the city for you. As of now all of your Homestead Exemption is going to the County for police protection and other things that you say you are not getting.
5) If you join now it will not cost you anything and you can get help with the simple paper work to fill it out.
6) If you annex then you will be able to vote, run for office and finally have some rights to help make decisions for your town.
7) A crime watch program is being put in place at the present time and with annexation it could bring in extra revenue and possibly lead to some police protection. As a new town member you would be able to have some new ordinances put into place to clean it up. If your property is connected to the existing town limits, then you are eligible to annex into the town under the 100 % ruling. I realize there are elderly people and others out there who can’t fill out the paper work. The Concerned Citizens Committee of Pelzer is willing to assist in helping with this paper work.
To sum it all up – No taxes, no cost for annexation, be able to vote and run for office, have some input on decisions, increase revenue thru municipal fees for police protection.
“People always say they are scared of taxes and if there is ever any taxes in Pelzer then that would be progress,” Coker said.
“Why should Pelzer be any different than any other city? Belton. Honea Path, Williamston, Piedmont and West Pelzer pay taxes and all have police protection. You have to pay for what you get.”
Coker said, “I am trully concerned about our little town that we all grew up in. I hope that people will take a stand and make a difference and push to get annexed into the town while the cost to them is not far from what you are paying for now.”