Pelzer Heritage Commission planning new Veterans Memorial

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To sell memorial bricks

The Pelzer Heritage Commission is in the process of planning a new Veterans Memorial which will be located at the lower mill property at Murray Street.
PHC Vice President Larry Coker met with representatives of Upstate Warriors, Vets Helping Vets, Palmetto High AFJROTC and local Veterans recently to share information and receive input about the project.
Meritus Signature Homes in Anderson will be designing and handling all facets of the memorial construction. The design includes a section to honor all Veterans and a Ring of Honor at the front to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Coker said the PHC plans to sell memorial bricks that will be used as part of the memorial. Four by eight inch bricks will have three lines of wording and will be $100 each. Eight by eight inch bricks will have six lines of wording and an emblem and will be $200 each.
“The Pelzer Heritage Commission has wanted to do this for years,” Coker said. Starting in 2010 they began raising funds by selling T-shirts and having festivals. They originally planned to have the memorial at the Monkey Park and then at Smyth Street, but after they took possession of the mill property, it was decided that would be the best place to locate it.
The site will be below the parking lot near the newly refurbished flagpole at Murray St. and McCaughrin St. The flagpole was originally placed at the site in the 1940s and PHC had it redone and added lighting.
“This project has been long overdue,” Coker said. “We have a lot of Veterans in this area and all Veterans should be honored.”
Coker said Veterans throughout the area, including Pelzer, West Pelzer, Williamston and Piedmont, can be honored at the memorial.
According to Coker, Meritus Home will construct the Memorial for free and PHC will supply the materials. PHC has approximately $110,000 which has been raised primarily from property sales as part of a partnership with Anderson County through the Neighborhood Initiative Program. PHC is the non profit organization through which the County obtains blighted properties and uses the NIP funds for improvements on them.
Coker said the PHC has acquired more than seventy properties throughout the county and being a “good neighbor”, has given four of the properties to Williamston and three to Iva for redevelopment.
The PHC has also been instrumental in cleanup of the old mill property through EPA grants and has been involved in the July 4th celebration in Pelzer.
They were also able to obtain $60,000 in funding to repave the old parking lot where the Veterans Memorial will be located.
Coker said the PHC is working with the new Pelzer Planning Commission for approval of the project.
But the fees associated with the planning approval have caused some annoyance for those working on the project.
According to Coker, the Town of Pelzer Planning Committee recently sent the PHC a bill for $320 for a planning fee for the project. “We thought, and everyone else we have talked to thought, that fee could have been waived,” he said. “We are putting over $100,000 in this Memorial and they charged us that plus we have to pay them another $90 for a permit fee.”

“What we are doing is to honor those Veterans and to improve Pelzer,” he said.
Coker said the PHC is in the process of setting up a website to sell the memorial bricks and details will be announced soon.