Williamston to apply for radio read water meter grant

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Estimated cost of $1.2 million

By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council appointed an assistant municipal judge, approved a resolution on the Gatewood entrance project, accepted a proposal for preparing a grant application for radio read water meters and reviewed a presentation for a bike and pedestrian plan.

Council unanimously approved a proposal by Rogers and Callcott firm to prepare a grant application seeking USDA Rural Development grant/loan to purchase radio read water meters.

The grant application will cost the town $7500. Public Works Supervisor David Rogers said the town’s application will be one of the first for the funding.

If approved the funding will allow the town to purchase and replace 2400 water meters at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.

Jean Crowther, of Alta Planning presented a bike and pedestrian trail plan as part of the Envision Williamston process underway for the town.

“The end goal is to provide more choices for residents and visitors,” she said.

As part of the presentation, Crowder stated that additional sidewalks and marked bike lanes would provide for safer and more usable ways for pedestrians and cyclists.

The presentation is a piece of the Envision Williamston project to provide on street and off street trails and greenways, creating a network all age can use, to places you want to go.”

According to Crowther, recent input sessions reflect that residents want the opportunity to walk and bike and they want to see safer intersections.

The plan calls for a combination of bike facilities, striped bike lanes and boulevards, buffered lanes and cycle tracks.

It recommends 10.7 miles of shared use paths and 20.9 miles of new sidewalks along with potential new road and path connections.

Council unanimously approved a resolution to have the Anderson County Transportation Committee move foward with the project they have designed to repair the entranceway. The recommendation is based on the feedback town officials received from residents during a public meeting held last Thursday.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mary Frances Cole as an assistant municipal judge. Representing Senator Billy O’Dell, consultant Rusty Burns made the recommendation stating that the county was currently one magistrate short and as an assistant judge Cole could begin training in preparation to “get the magistrate office up to speed.” According to Burns, the appointment will be a county position and “will not cost the town a thing.”

Council narrowly approved a proclamation recognizing Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage month in Williamston.

Councilmembers Tony Hagood, Rockey Burgess and Mayor Durham voted in favor of the proclamation. Councilmembers David Harvell and Otis Scott were opposed.

Counilman Otis Scott asked the mayor to have the police department do additional patrols in the Gatewood subdivision.

Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall reported the program is exploring possibilities for financing program initiatives and working on policies.

Crandall said the EW Design Committee is planning a fall scarecrow contest for the community. She also reported the town is preparing a grant proposal for events.

A recent survey conducted as part of the EW program during the Spring Water Festival showed that fifteen percent of attendees for the annual event were there for the first time, Crandall said.

Councilman Tony Hagood reported that preparation is underway for the Born Learning Trail project. Concrete slabs and holes for sign posts have been completed. The project will provide learning stations for young children at both the Brookdale Park and Mineral Spring Park.