Public comments on Pelzer annexation


During Council meeting

During their meeting Monday evening, Pelzer Town Council approved final reading on their 2015-16 budget with some changes, held first reading on a revenue bond ordinance for the Phase II sewer project and then heard citizen input which focused on the annexation which will be voted on in a referendum on Tuesday (June 9).

Approximately 20 to 30 Pelzer area residents, packed into the town’s cramped offices on Courtney Street for the meeting with about ten speaking on the annexation issue. The comments began with questions and complaints about the process and the short time period, lack of public hearings, and taxes that will follow.

Pelzer Mayor Steve McGregor and Town Clerk Heather Holcombe fielded the questions and led the discussion on how the town became involved and where it was going.

McGregor explained how the 25 percent annexation by petition process began in January and the referendum date was set for June 9. McGregor said that the Pelzer annexation process is the first time the 25 percent petition method has been used in the state.

He also said that by allowing it the town has “opened the door” for residents to have a say in their town and their future. Holcombe said that “People in the community started this and came to them (town council).”

Comments from several against ranged from city codes and enforcement and the costs of police protection to taxes. There were concerns about the county not helping with some of the services they currently provide including animal control.

Holcombe said the county will have a grace period to work with the town on some of the issues as they transition.

Comments from supporters of the annexation ranged from “some people don’t object to taxes” to “Come be a part of Pelzer, vote, get on council. The silly things you don’t like, vote against them.”

Most attending were in favor of moving the town forward by having the entire mill village included in the town limits.

Comments included, “I think everybody should have the right to vote” and “I’m ready to have my voice heard and ready for some changes in Pelzer.”

McGregor and Holcombe both said the town is looking at ways to de-annex properties that did not want to be in the town limits and that the town does not want included.

There was a round of applause when Pelzer councilmember Chery Beaudreau, who attended the Williamston Town Council meeting, came in and announced that Williamston had tabled their ribbon annexation.

Registered voters in the entire Pelzer voting precinct will have the opportunity to vote on the issue (Tuesday). Voting will take place at the Pelzer Community Building, located at 25 Pelzer Park St. in Pelzer. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The territory proposed to be annexed is the unincorporated portion of the Pelzer Precinct Voting Area.

View Pelzer Annexation Area