Williamston Town Council recognizes Palmetto cheerleaders, scarecrow winners


By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council recognized the Palmetto Mustang Cheerleaders for winning their 3A State Championship, announced winners of the Envision Williamston Scarecrow Decorating Contest, approved funding for the July 4th fireworks show and approved the purchase of a new flatbed truck.

Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall updated council on several grants the economic development program has recently been awarded including MASC SC Heritage grant which will be used for business facade improvement and a Mustang Alley feasibility study.

Envision Williamston is also implementing an Adopt A Rest Stop program with the first location being sponsored by Ace Hardware and Ragsdale’s Decks.

Crandall said there will be a site selection for a new electronic message board this Thursday and the sign should be installed soon.

Envision Williamston is planning a HOWDY cleanup day in the Spring and is working on a design for new Historic Downtown banners.

Crandall and EW Marketing and Community Placemaking Vice-Chair Debbie Chapman presented awards to winners of the Scarecrow Decorating Contest (See separate story and photos).

Williamston Town Council then recognized the Palmetto Mustang Competition Cheerleaders and approved a resolution honoring them for winning the 3A State Championship in Columbia recently.

The Mustangs were undefeated in the 2016 competition season winning the Liberty Diamond L Cheer Competition, Woodmont Wildcat Invitational Cheer Competition, BHP Bear Classic, Hillcrest Ram Cheer Competition, Carolina Classic Cheer Competition at Furman University, Region Championship, Upper State Championship, State Championship.

Mayor Mack Durham read the resolution which states “Town Council appreciates the pride and recognition that the Mustang cheerleaders have brought to their school and to the town.”

Council unanimously approved $9450 for a fireworks show for the July 4th Freedom Celebration . The fireworks will be by Pyrotechnico Fireworks Inc. and will include a music soundtrack.

Council approved the purchase of a new flatbed truck for the street department to use to pick up limbs and leaves. Cost for the 2017 International 4300 SBA Construction Dump truck will be $79,500. The truck is being pruchased from Carolina International Trucks, Inc. in Columbia.

Funding will come out of the town’s $2.3 million reserve fund, according to Mayor Durham.

Before the 3-2 vote on the purchase, Councilman Otis Scott questioned whether the town should spend an additional $37,000 to equip a truck with loading equipment.

Mayor Durham said the truck being considered was requested by the Street Department Head.

The mayor said the town is currently borrowing a truck from the Town of Belton and that Williamston has no back up truck for picking up limbs and leaves.

He said it will take approximately 90 days to get the new truck after the order is placed.

“We have been building our operations to have a capital replacement plan. We have a lot of old equipment,” the mayor said.”The flatbed is needed. We have continued to use that old equipment and will have to replace it.”

Durham said the town has been cost effective with town finances. “The department heads have shown responsibility in how they use their money. I think we should support their request.”

He also offered a “Thank You” to the Town of Belton for allowing the use of their truck while the town’s truck has been out of operation. “We would be forced to lease a truck while getting a replacement,” the mayor said.

Councilmen David Harvell and Otis Scott were both opposed to the purchase. Councilmembers Tony Hagood, Rockey Burgess and Mayor Durham were in favor.

Councilman Scott then made a motion to amend the agenda to consider a motion to return the mayor and council salaries “back to where they were.” If approved the motion would return the councilmembers salaries to $400 per month and the mayor salary to $1200 per month.

The motion failed with a 2-3 vote. Councilmembers Harvell and Scott were both in favor of the motion. Councilmembers Tony Hagood, Rockey Burgess and Mayor Durham were opposed.

Council then went into an executive session lasting about 35 minutes to discuss a personnel issue and to receive legal advice on road funding and maintenance.

Upon returning to regular session there was no discussion or explanation on either topic.

During Council comments, Councilman Burgess stated it had been an honor and joy to serve with Councilman Scott. Councilman Hagood also thanked Scott for his service to the town and stated he had learned a lot from him.

Mayor Durham said though he and Scott had some disagreements he thought Scott “had the very best intentions for the town. I appreciate the service you put in. It is not an easy job.”

Scott said he appreciated the opportunity to serve the citizens of Williamston. “I enjoy helping people,” he said. “I will continue to bring their concerns before you all.”

Scott recently lost his re-election bid to the Ward 4 seat on Council to Chris Alexander. Alexander will take the oath of office at the January meeting of Council.

That meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held on Monday January 9, according to Mayor Durham.

Envision Williamston Scarecrow Contest Winners