By Stan Welch
Immediately upon convening the Pelzer Town Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Will Ragland announced that the agenda needed to be amended to include a second, unannounced public hearing. Another public hearing, concerning the hiring of an additional town employee, was already on the agenda. The second public hearing involved the efforts by the town to establish building codes in closer alignment with the county standards.
Ragland, when challenged by the Journal’s reporter over the sudden and unannounced public hearing, said that there was an undisclosed business entity interested in locating in the town. “Pelzer is playing catch up and we need to do this so construction, if the party chooses to locate here, can proceed.”
He declined to provide any information about the other party, but added that Anderson County officials had made it clear that the adoption of the standards was necessary. The Journal’s reporter officially objected, citing the requirement that public hearings must be advertised in order to allow the public to participate. The mayor noted the objection, while the town attorney remained mute. The agenda was then amended by a unanimous vote.
The original public hearing on amending the budget to allow for the new hire progressed rapidly, and second reading on the budget amendment was approved.
A second reading will be required to change or adopt the new building codes as well. The first reading was passed unanimously during the course of the meeting.
A resolution to adopt the town’s strategic priorities, established at a special meeting several weeks ago, was also unanimously adopted. First reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of the cell tower property passed by a 3-2 vote, with councilmen Eddie Waits and Mike Matthews opposing.
The council then went into a thirty eight minute executive session to discuss contractual matters. Upon reconvening, the mayor announced that no action would be taken.
West Pelzer Town Council held a special called meeting last Tuesday (Mar. 2). Council amended the budget to allow for the creation of a new full time maintenance position with benefits.