Week of Jan. 22, 2003
Museum committee moving
forward on project
A representative of Cline, Brandt, Kochenower & Co. presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002 to Anderson County Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
According to Steve Blake, Anderson County received a certified excellent rating. Blake added that the CAFR shows the expertise of the county accounting staff, noting that many staffs cannot produce a CAFR much less one which is certified.
Council member Cindy Wilson asked about a management letter for the report. Blake said that a letter was sent to the County in October 2002 but that the County had not yet responded to that letter.
A management letter details any problems or discrepancies discovered during the audit with recommendations for correction. According to Blake, the County has nine months to draft a response to the management letter.
Wilson also noted net losses in the sewer, civic center, airport, and land fill accounts. Council member Clint Wright noted that the land fill deficit is a matter of less money spent, noting that there is a considerable savings per household under the current system.
Wilson proposed an ordinance regarding procurement procedures for external auditors for Anderson County. Under Wilsons proposal, a bidding firm could not provide consulting services within three years prior to an audit and within two years after an audit.
During discussion which followed, Council member Gracie Floyd asked the assistance of Gray Suggs to explain current General Accounting Office regulations on the matter. Floyd added that the ordinance might prevent the use of folks with needed expertise.
Wright added that the ordinance might create a monopoly and reduce the pool of potential bidders. Wilson emphasized a need to separate consulting from auditing and used the relationship of Enron and Arthur Andersen as an example.
A vote resulted in the defeat of the ordinance. Wilson cast the only supporting vote, Wright abstained, and the remaining five members opposed the ordinance.
Wilson also questioned the number of new positions created this fiscal year in the county. She requested details on the salary and purpose of each position. Wilson also noted an apparent surplus in the E-911 fee fund and questioned whether a reduction in the tax levy should be considered.
An engineering team from Robert Bosch Corporation and a group of students opened the council meeting with a presentation on a robotic competition involving approximately 35 students from five area high schools Wren, Palmetto, B-HP, Westside, and Hanna.
In its fifth year, the program is supported financially by Bosch and its employees who volunteer their time to serve as mentors. The students themselves have fundraisers to assist in the cost of attending the competition.
In response to the presentation, the Council voted $4500 from Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 to help support the effort. Wilson said she would have to review available funds before making a commitment from District 7.
The first reading of an ordinance request by Phil Marett to rezone 10.68 acres on Lebanon Road from R-A (Residential Agriculture) to P-D (Planning Development) resulted in much discussion during a public hearing.
A property owner in the area expressed concerns about a reduction in the value of nearby property. Another citizen expressed concerns about zoning laws and how easily they could be changed.
Council member Wright responded that zoning laws are a beginning point but need to be flexible enough to change with the community.
Realtor Mell Gerrard said plans for the property included sewer, water, and natural gas for patio homes with two-car garages. He also noted that the property across the road is zoned R-20.
Marett and Council member Wright explained the work and documentation with the Planning & Development Board to insure that the area is not open to lesser housing. The Council unanimously supported the ordinance.
A split vote resulted in approval of the first reading of an ordinance to amend council procedures regarding agenda time limits.
At the request of Council, County Attorney Tom Martin received input from all members and presented proposed clarifications to the ordinance. Wilson cast the only opposing vote to the revised ordinance.
The third reading of an ordinance to amend sections of the county code pertaining to noise restrictions and penalty provisions received unanimous support from the Council.
Comments during a public hearing emphasized that the key to the ordinance would be its enforcement by authorities.
The second reading of an ordinance authorizing the leasing of office space at Anderson Regional Airport to William Epstein was unanimously approved.
The first reading of an ordinance amending the list of all county roads located in and maintained by the county received unanimous approval.
Wilson received unanimous approval for $13,000 for repairing and paving the parking lot at the Williamston Rescue Squad. A split vote resulted in a $3000 allocation to the Honea Path Fire Department. Council member Greer opposed, Council member Tolly abstained, and all other members supported the request.
Council Chairman Bill Dees received unanimous approval for $55, 460 in additions to his paving list. Greer received approval for additions to his paving list totaling $17,468. Greer also received approval for $5300 for equipment at Grove Community Park.
Council approved a $5000 appropriation to the March of Dimes for Holden, a $3000 appropriation to Safe Harbor for Tolly, and a $2000 appropriation to the Pendleton Community Club for Wright.
A council vote tabled Dees appointment of Larry Greer to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Wilson, Holden, Tolly, and Floyd supported the postponement; Dees, Wright, and Greer opposed.
Before adjourning the meeting, Chairman Dees reminded council members of the Land Use Work Session scheduled Jan. 30 at the Anderson County Museum.
The Williamston Museum committee will visit other small town museums in the area for ideas before making major decisions concerning the interior of the building that will house the areas history.
Committee members want to see how other museums handled lighting, electrical and display setup before additional renovation work is done on the old City Hall building
Committee members plan to visit the museums in Central and Pickens and possibly the new Anderson County Museum.
A $50,000 grant made available by the governors office in 2000, will provide initial funding for the project.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the funds are already in the Towns coffers and will remain available for the museum without a time deadline for use.
Clardy urged the committee to take the necessary time to make sure the interior plans for the project are adequate and not to rush the project just to get it done.
Committee chairman Charles Blakeley said he would like to see what other museums in the area had done before proceeding on the project.
To date, $2,500 has been spent for a survey and preliminary plans and the interior of the building has been gutted in preparation for the renovations necessary to make the building, which was constructed in 1914, usable as a museum.
A counter will be removed allowing additional display space and decisions must be made concerning wiring, lighting and flooring, according to Mayor Clardy.
Other plans call for repainting the porch, some underpinning, and landscaping, which will be done by the Career and Technology Center.
The committee is also looking at possibly replacing windows in the building. The roof is in good shape, according to Clardy.
Clardy said the Town will look into other possible fundssuch as a Heritage Corridor Grant to help with the project.
Clardy said there are numerous items on loan by citizens for display at the museum. He said a number of postcards and other items have been provided by citizens and are being stored in the vault at the Municipal Center.
We are running out of space, Clardy said.
He said the vault in the old City Hall building could possibly be used to store some of the items.
Members of the Greater Williamston Business Association heard from Bob Bainbridge of Clemson University, who presented preliminary designs for a proposed downtown project for Williamstons Main St.
Bainbridge enlisted the help of several Clemson students to design ideas for the project being spearheaded by the GWBA members.
GWBA president Dave Maddox said the designs are presented to the group only for information and hopefully as a catalyst for generating ideas for the proposed downtown project.
Bainbridge presented a computer rendering of Williamstons Main St. buildings at present and what it would look like with different paint and awnings.
A key to the design was to add a landscaped parking area behind the Main St. businesses and to allow for a passageway somwhere in the center of the business district. This portion of the design also includes closing a portion of Mineral Park circle and making it a brick paver walkway and adding a new connecting street to access the rear parking area.
Other plans for Main St. and a new Town Square area call for adding turning lanes into the shopping center, adding a median and brick crosswalks and providing for a park, grassy area in a portion of the current parking lot.
Approximately 15 ft. of the parking lot would be used to add trees and decorative street lights along sidewalks in front of the Main St. buildings.
Bainbridge suggested painting the buildings a brick or red color and adding colored awnings to add color to the plan. He also suggested highlighting architechtectural details of the brick work and adding wooden doors to the buildings.
Plans for the downtown area call for a town square area possibly including a clock tower, grassy area, trees and fountains of some type.
Designs by four Clemson architectural students were presented to the group.
Designs ranged from a rock type clock tower to a contemporary red white and blue steel design and a fountain featuring circular seating.
GWBA members are planning to host a pancake breakfast or Night on the Town event for anyone interested in an upgrade project to view the proposals and participate in discussion on the project.
Bainbridge said grant money for projects of this type, especially located along state highways, were available.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said there are grants currently available for beautification projects along state highways, and he said it was possible to apply for grants if a plan was presented.
Clardy said the town would be supportive of a breakfast or other event to create interest in the project.
We want to try to move forward with progressive things, he told the group.
Last summer, Bainbridge presented a plan that included tying in a walking trail or path from along Minor St. from the Municipal Complex to the Palmetto Middle School area.
The plan also included other possible ideas for the downtown area such as designating the down town area by signage, using brick pavers for walking areas, tying into to proposed walking and biking trails.
Palmetto High will choose a new queen Saturday as 11 contestants vie for the title of Miss Palmetto 2003.
Under the direction of Kim Shuey, this years event will capture the theme of Aretha Franklins You Better Think beginning Thursday, Jan. 23 with class beauty competitions, followed by a line-up of Miss Palmetto events on Saturday. Each nights events will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Competing for the crown of Miss Palmetto 2003 are Amy Blume, Nikki Boggs, Rebecca Edens, Nicole Haulbrook, Stephanie King, Nichole Martin, Audrey Mulherin, Mandy Prater, Stacy Smith, Amy Stubbs, and Catherine Whitten. Contestants will be judged on talent, interview, casual and formal wear.
Thursday evening will showcase 73 class beauties as they compete for their respective class titles.
Anna Hanks, Miss South Carolina USA, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies with entertainment provided by Palmetto High seniors Quinn Pearson and Adam Jordan along with Anna Hanks, Amber Sanders, and math teacher April Hays.
Tickets are limited and can be purchased for $5 at the school beginning Jan. 22. All proceeds will go to benefit Palmetto High Schools yearbook.
Contestants for Miss Freshman include: Kathrine Jones, Brittany Bowman, Brittany Finley, Danielle Smith, Brandi Stegall, LaQuita Cleveland, Rachel Irwin, Lisa Mosteller, Caroline Lasley, Kristen Clark, Katie Lollis, Brittany Chappelear, April Drake, Talley Clardy, Bernadette Gaines, Jennifer Darby, Kayla Walters, Velvet Gunnels, Jacinta Vaughn, Hayley Meade, Randi Marler, Hannah Guest, Brittany Mays and Amber Jeckel.
Contestants for Miss Sophomore include: Jesse Jordan, Tiffany Jones, Megan Pack, Lindsey Fincher, Sarah Riddle, Erica Bromeling, Jessica Harrison, Stevy Brown, Elizabeth Neel, Kayla Phillips, Heather Eddleman, Nicole Lovinggood, Lindsey Snipes, Morgan Poole, Latasha Calhoun, Starr Hammond, Shannon Smith, Natasha Hill, Amber Owens, Brooke Burdette, Katie Wilson, Whitney Franks and Brittany Lufkin.
Contestants for Miss Junior include: Sommer Kinard, Melissa Eddleman, Kayla Hicks, Amber Bagwell, Kelly Cooley, Megan Nicholson, Jessica Duncan, Erica Failor, Jessica Wardlaw, Sheila Wright, Robyn Murphy, Teri Lee Hancock, Ashley Davis, Chloe Barnhill, Ashley Rentz, and Jennifer Welborn.
Contestants for Miss Senior include: Sherry Marter, Jessica Roberts, Candace Schronce, Emily Johnston, Ginger Pottorff, Monica Marshall, Kayla Belk, Stacy Cabiness, Krystal Bailey, Winter Edwards, Lauren McCuen, Keshia Callaham and Tiffany Grimes.
Miss Palmetto 2003 contestants
Miss Palmetto 2003 contestants include: Front seated (L-R): Amy Stubbs, Nichole Martin, Nikki Boggs. Back standing (L-R): Audrey Mulherin, Mandy Prater, Catherine Whitten, Stacy Smith, Amy Blume, Rebecca Edens, and Stephanie King. Not pictured: Nicole Haulbrook
Anderson County School Health Improvement Partnership unveiled plans Tuesday to improve the health of the countys school children by increasing the number of school nurses.
The Duke Endowment has awarded a $350,000 grant to the partnership as first year funding of a four-year request exceeding $1 million. Additional funding from AnMed Health, the five school districts and the S. C. Department of Education will also be used.
Eleven nurses will be added to Anderson County schools in March with funding for four more nurses to come from the school districts.
The goal is to add 15 nurses to Anderson County schools to meet the recommended national standard of one nurse per 750 students, according to a spokesperson.
School District One hopes to add four nurses to the seven existing nurses in the district .
Partners for a Healthy Community has agreed to help coordinate the initiative which will put a greater emphasis on prevention and wellness, create healthy school environments with the involvement of school health improvement teams, and link students to community health and social services.
Because healthy students are often more productive learners, school officials say the initiative is likely to lead to improved academic performance. Health improvement efforts will also be directed at faculty and staff, increasing the overall benefit of the program.
The partnership includes the five Anderson County school districts, AnMed Health, The Duke Endowment, Partners for a Healthy Community, the state Department of Education and Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Fourteen people are undergoing preventive treatment after a pet dog tested positive for rabies. The pet was from the Sandy Springs area of Anderson County and lived in the general area of where two wild animals and a horse were confirmed as rabid in late December, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said Thursday.
The pet dog apparently became ill last Friday and was confirmed as rabid on Tuesday. The animal had not been inoculated against rabies.
This incident should serve as a reminder to residents to make sure their pets are vaccinated because rabies is fatal to humans and animals, said Eric Neil, director of DHECs Appalachia I Environmental Health District Office.
Anyone bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to the saliva of a rabid animal must undergo immediate medical treatment to prevent the virus from reaching the brain. State law requires that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, and we strongly encourage residents to make sure their own pets have been vaccinated to protect both the pets and their owners, he said.
This is the first positive animal confirmed in Anderson County this year. In 2002, Anderson County had 11 positive rabies cases.
About 400 South Carolinians have to undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year after being bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal. In 2002, there were 162 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina.
For additional information about rabies, contact the Anderson County Environmental Health Office at (864) 260-5585.
The Town of Williamston will be collecting a $50 commercial solid waste/recycling fee this year according to a recent notice issued by the town..
According to Victor Carpenter, director of county environmental services, the fee is a part of a county budget ordinance and is charged at the option of each municipality based on whether or not the town provides commercial garbage and trash pickup.
Although this fee has not been collected for the last few years by the Town of Williamston, the fee will be collected this year along with each business license issued and forwarded on to the county according to town officials.
Revenue from the fees is used for disposal and operation of the solid waster system for Anderson County, according to Carpenter.
Questions or coments regarding this fee may be directed to Victor Carpenter, Anderson County Environmental Services Division at 260-1001.