Williamston Town Council approves funding for “Pickleball Courts”

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During a special called meeting held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a bid of $160,000 for construction of new “Pickleball Courts” in Mineral Spring Park and approved second and final reading on four new ordinances.

In an effort to deal with persons using foul language and causing other problems, Council approved seconding reading on an ordinance prohibiting trespassing on Town Property and disruption of public meetings.

The ordinance prohibiting trespassing on town property allows Williamston Police Officers to place a person or persons causing a problem in Mineral Spring Park (and other properties) on trespass notice. If cited twice the person could face a $500 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

Council also approved a related ordinance addressing the disruption of public meetings including council meetings, planning commission meetings or any duly held meeting related to the town.

Persons cited under either ordinance will have the opportunity to come before council to request being removed from the trespass notice.

Council approved second reading on an ordinance authorizing $40,000 from the general fund to be used for road erosion and washouts. A recent problem on Shorebrook Drive cost approximately to $18,000 to repair and another problem on Simpson Street needs to be addressed soon.

Council approved second reading on repeal of Rental Housing regulations.
The ordinace was put in place several years ago to deal with drug dealers and other problems related to rental properties. Mayor Burgess said the original ordinance placed a burden on the property owners and has not been effective.

Council amended the agenda to add an item addressing parking on grass areas in the park. The resolution states that vehicle cannot park on grassy areas and must park on the roadway or in designated parking spots.

Council approved $160,000 for Pickleball Courts and other repairs to the tennis court area in the park. The bid was awarded to Talbot Tennis of Marietta Georgia. The budget was amended so that half of the amount, $80,000 will come from this year’s Hospitality Tax fund budget. The remaining amount will be funded in the 2021-22 budget.

Council appointed Barry Thompson to the Zoning Appeals Board.

Mayor Rockey Burgess stated that the “Wall Mural” at Palmetto Middle School will be moved to Mineral Spring Park, tentatively May 10. The town has been in the process of providing footings for the mural which will be moved by crane to its new home in the park. Burgess said Anderson School District One has committed $3000 in funding to help with the project. The concrete footers for the wall will cost $4,600. the project included a 158 ft. wall on each side of the wall mural, which will be located at the rear of the park and will provide a barrier from the park and the railroad embankment. Councilman Tony Hagood suggested having a plaque made to provide some history on the mural, which was part of the building when it was originally constructed as Palmetto High School.

Council adjourned the special called meeting and then held a budget work session in which the proposed budget for 2021-22 was looked at.

The new budget includes a 1.5 percent across the board salary increase for town employees and there were some adjustments to the Hospitality Tax fund budget.

The Envision Williamston budget was cut in half, to $35,000.