West Pelzer approves $1.1 million budget


West Pelzer Town Council held first reading on the 2021-22 budget Tuesday. The budget shows a slight increase over last year to $1,133,860.81.
Mayor Blake Sanders said the budget is based on the previous year and has no increase in taxes of fees. He said is reflects a carryover for unallocated reserves from last year, and issuance of the 2021 GO Bond.

Highlights include: An increase in the fund balance due to conservative spending; restructure of a General Obligation Bond and removal of annual WPPD vehicle payments.

In the Public Works (Water/Sewer) Department, the budget reflects preparation of a sewer system transfer to Re-Wa; Maintenance of Department staffing and Emergency Management Preparation and Execution for COVID-19 and other areas.
The Hospitality Tax Budget reflects several town events not completed last year including Pumpkinpalooza, Christmas parade and others. Mayor Sanders said town events are resuming this year.

The Hospitality Tax Bond reflects payment for Chapman Park that has been prepaid in full.

Mayor Sanders said there was no significant decrease in revenues from COVID, but there were no increases.
He said the town will receive approximately $350,000 from the American Recovery Program which can be used for revenue reimbursement, infrastructure, technoligy and COVID related expenses. The funding will allow the town to increase reserves from 18 percent to 24 percent, he said. The mayor said the funding will also allow the town to provide one time bonuses for employees who worked during the COVID crisis. It will also be used for picnic tables and other items that can be used outside.

Sanders said the town will be looking at some capital fund requests that will be in the budget, possible on second reading. The public works department has requested a golf cart or ATV which can be used for meter reading, and a lawnmower. The police department has requested tazers, addional firearms and training, he said.

“The town of West Pelzer can be proud of the many accomplishments during a tough year, yet we can forward to providing excellent service to our community,” Sanders said.

“I would like to thank town council for their continued guidance and support. I would also like to thank all of our employees for their hard work and dedication. I look forward to working with all of you to make the town of West Pelzer the best place to live, work, learn and play.”

In her clerk’s report, Paula Payton announced that there will be a Palmetto Pride Litter Pick Up and Waste Industries Spring Cleanup held this Saturday, May 15. She urged residents to have litter and other items ready for pickup by Waste Industries on Friday evening. The Waste Industries crews will pick items up early on Saturday, she said.
Volunteers who want to help with the town litter pick up are asked to meet at the town hall parking lot at 9:45 a.m. for briefing and to receive litter pickup equipment.

Payton reported the Public Works Department completed 19 work orders during the Month of April. The West Pelzer Municipal Center will be closed on May 31 for Memorial Day.

West Pelzer Police Chief Alexis Eliopoulos reported there were 20 reports written in April with 10 arrests.
Arrests inlcuded 3 traffic related; 3 shoplifting, 2 disorderly conduct, 1 tresspass notice, 3 drug charges over 10 grams of meth and 13 gram of marijuanan seized.
There was one pistol seized, one dog running at large and 9 grass/weed violation letters sent out.
There were 58 tickets written and 25 warnings.
The town litter pick up will be held May 15 beginning at 10 a.m. Volunteers will meet at the town hall parking lot at 9:45 for briefing.
Lt. Stoller and Sgt. Marro are attended a three day training class for SFST practitioner this week.
reminder that to reach an office, call 864-947-6297 Option 5 of call Anderson County Dispatch at 864-260-4444. For emergencies call 911.

Council approved second reading on an ordinance to rezone approximately 2.41 acres of property near 11 Spring St. The zoning change was from Mobile Home Park (MHP) to Residential-6.
Council approved a resolution to award a bid contract to Ellenburg Custom Trailers for $4,295 for a trailer that can be used as a stage at events and can be moved as needed. The resolution also authorizes the mayor to solicit bids for paving for a 1/2 basketball court at Chapman Park. The basketball court will be located behind the restrooms. Funding will come from a $10,000 PARD grant which has a town match of $250.


During council comments, Councilman Jim Riddle said West Pelzer is “a small town with a big heart and vision,” pointing out festivals, art gallery and having a poet laureate. He said there will soon be a community bool club which will be announced soon.
Sanders wished a happy belated Mother’s Day to everyone and “Happy Anniversary” to his wife.
He also announced there will be several ribbon cutting recognitions for local businesses that have recently opened or opened during the COVID crisis.