Funding approved for park shelter cleanup, MLK breakfast

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By David Meade

During their first meeting of the new year, Williamston Town Council swore in two councilmemebers, approved funding for a MLK breakfast, abandoned and closed Hospital Street, approved “In God We Trust” lettering for Council chambers and heard from Gatewood residents.

The Gatewood issue took approximately one hour of the meeting. (See separate story).

Following that discussion, council went into an executive session lasting approximately 45 minutes to hear legal advice and discuss an economic development issue concerning rail development. Upon returning to regular session, council unanimously approved an ordinance which abandons and closes Hospital Street. The street is approximately 80 feet between property owned by the Williamsotn Presbyterian church and Greenville & Western Railway.

Both landowners are in agreement with the closure and all easements and rights of way the town had will be quitclaimed to the two landowners.

Council approved funding for repair work to be performed in the long shed at Mineral Spring Park. Ken Walters of Easley was awarded the bid of $4,600 to $5,300 which will come from Hospitality Tax funds. The work includes removing and repairing bricks, removing wood ceiling and cleaning, treating and painting wood in the shelter, installation of new lights and new steps on each end. The work includes alleviating the main problem, removing bat guano from the building.

Council also approved funding of $483.38 for plastic lettering “In God We Trust” which will be placed under the town seal in Council Chambers. Specs for the 3 inch plastic letters match smilar lettering at the old Anderson County Courthouse. Jeff Walker Computer Engraving will create and mount the lettering.

Council also approved a resolution adopting five advocacy initiatives of the SC Municipal Association. They include clearing blight, open government, fund services, increase efficiency and fix roads.

Council unanimously approved funding of $2,425 for a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast for up to 200 people. The funding will cover food catering, entertainment, sound and a guest speaker. Funding will be from the Hospitality Tax fund. Councilman Tony Hagood is organizing the event which is similar to one held in Anderson. “The mayor and I thought this would be a great idea if we brought that to Williamston,” he said.

At the beginning to the meeting, reelected councilmembers Rockey Burgess (Ward 2) and Tony Hagood (Ward 1) were sworn in.

Burgess’ wife Wendy administered the oath of office while son Austin held the Bible. Burgess is serving his first full term on council.

Hagood was administered the oath of office by Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor.

Councilman David Harvell was elected Mayor Pro Tem.

Planning and Development Committee member James Pressley resigned the position he had held for 15 years.

During public comments, TommyWalker complained about the Christmas Parade being spaced out and stated that 4 wheelers in the parade were dangerous. Walker also said someone should look into the maintenance fee Fort Hill Gas charges on their billing.