News Archive

Week of Jan. 29, 2003

New councilmen tour Williamston facilities
Man wanted in abduction Powdersville
Town to collect commercial solid waste/recycling fee
Town officials reviewing file records
Seven district schools awarded Palmetto grantsAnderson One 

Week of Jan. 29, 2003

New councilmen tour Williamston facilities

To get a better feel for public assets they are ultimately responsible for, the two new members of Williamston Town Council toured town facilities and met with department heads this week.

Councilmembers Cecil Cothran and Greg Cole, along with Mayor Phillip Clardy, toured town facilities including the sewer treatment plant,  Gray Drive walking track, town grinder operation and proposed soccer complex, Brookdale and Connely park, town maintenance sheds, the old water treatment plant and the proposed town museum.

Sewer Department head Bob Hammett informed the councilmembers on the town’s sewer treatment operation which is located on approximately 42 acres just off Mill St.

The town treatment facility includes four treatment ponds which were constructed in 1988. The operation also includes 8 lift stations located throughout the town, according to Hammett.

Also located on the acreage is the town’s grinding operation and proposed soccer fields.

The grinding operation includes a grinder used for brush and small diameter trees which are turned into mulch and then sold to town residents, according to Street Department head, Joe Sullens.

Sullens said he is discussing a project with Anderson County that will allow a private facility to bring in a larger grinder to turn larger diameter trees and excess brush into mulch much faster than the town’s grinder.

The joint project will allow more brush to be ground into mulch and save the town money by cutting costs associated with transportation of  items to an outside facility.

Sullens also informed the new councilmen on the vehicles, tractors and other equipment available for use by the water, street and recreation employees.

The tour included the old town hall building which is currently being gutted by town employees in preparation for renovation work planned for the building.

The building, constructed in 1914, is to be the home of the Williamston area museum.

The Mayor and members of  Council will attend a meeting today (Wednesday) with state legislators to discuss issues relevant to the town and county government, along with other municipal officials from across the upstate.

Councilmembers will take up business of the Town Feb. 3, meeting in a work session prior to the regular 6 p.m. meeting. 

The work session, which will be held at 5:30 p.m., will be open to the public and will allow time for the mayor and council to prepare for and discuss issues facing the town, according to Mayor Clardy, who suggested the work sessions in January.

Clardy said the work session meetings will be open to the general public and are for information only. Official action of the town Council will be carried out during the regular meeting which will continue to be held at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.

Council is also expected to decide on reappointment of municipal judges during their next meeting. along with consideration of changes to allow a four year term.

Judge James M. “Jimmy” Cox has presided over Williamston court since 1996

Assistant Judge John Neel has been helping Cox with court duties since he was appointed in 1996.

Man wanted in abduction Powdersville

A young Greenville mother is safe after being abducted from a parking lot at a Piedmont motel early Sunday morning. Authorities are still looking for the suspect wanted in the case.

Christy Olivia Fricks, 27, showed up at her sister’s home Monday morning after she was shot at twice and taken from a car at the Super 8 motel on S. C. 153 in Piedmont around 5 a. m. Sunday. Capt. Dale McCard of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Dept. said he was not sure how she made it to her sister’s house.

McCard said investigators received a call around 9 a.m. saying she was safe but had been beaten during the abduction.

Fricks was sitting alone in a Nissan Sentra when a man fired two shots into the car and then forced her into his car according to McCard.

During the course of the abduction, Fricks was able to call her mother several times saying she was injured but that the suspect would not let her go.

Warrants have been issued for Hobart Shawn Phillips, 29, of Travelers Rest, McCard said. Phillips is an estranged boyfriend of the victim, McCard added.

Earlier Sunday morning, deputies went to the motel when a fight broke out between Phillips and another man in the lobby. At that time, Phillips gave deputies an alias and also reported that three men had robbed him as he walked to his room at the motel.

Authorities report that they are checking out several leads concerning the location of Phillips who is also wanted on probation violation charges.

Town to collect commercial solid waste/recycling fee

Williamston businesses will see an additional fee on their business license renewal this year.

The Town of Williamston will be collecting an additional $50 commercial solid waste/recycling fee, according to a recent notice issued by the town.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the town is being forced to pay for additional fees for trash being sent to the landfill.

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 comments regarding this fee may be directed to Victor Carpenter, Anderson County Environmental Services Division at 260-1001.

Town officials reviewing file records

In reviewing town records, officials of the Town of Williamston have reported that some information has not been located.

Copies of invoices for 1995 and 1997 to the present are on file, but there are no invoice copies for the year 1996, according to a spokesperson.

Records containing check copies for 10 years are on file, but there appears to be no supporting paperwork detailing reasons for the expenditures. According to officials, some expenditures amount to substantial amounts of money.

According to officials, personnel records are on file, but it is not known if they are complete or how far back they date.

Minutes from town council meetings date back to 1920. Although some recordings are brief, officials say there is a complete record of all council minutes.

The Town has completed a full review of books purchased from Easton Press by former Mayor Marion Middleton and is waiting on one added piece of documentation before taking any action on that matter.

Earlier this year, the Town could account for only 225 of the 504 books allegedly purchased with town funds from Easton Press between 1990 and 1997.

Seven district schools awarded Palmetto grants in Anderson One

By Stephanie Summerlin

The January meeting of Anderson School District One Board of Trustees offered the opportunity to spotlight the hard work and excellence demonstrated by both the board and the schools they support.

With January being the South Carolina School Board Association’s Board Appreciation Month, School Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher recognized trustees – most of whom had served the district for more than a decade.

“The school board plays a vital role in the education of our children,” Christopher says. “Each trustee must face complex and demanding challenges. Many people don’t understand the scope of responsibility our board accepts.”

“We’ve got a good school board. I’m grateful for each one that’s on here,” Board Chairman Fred Alexander says. “They really care about (teachers and administrators) and the children. That’s why I think School District One is the best school district in South Carolina.”

Accolades were also given to District One schools, whose efforts led to Anderson One being honored as one of only three schools statewide which achieved an excellent rating on the 2002 South Carolina Report Card.

“Achieving an excellent rating does not happen by chance,” Christopher says. “It is the end result of our schools’ commitment to not settle for the mediocre – to instead strive for excellence and absolute success.”

The board presented seven district schools with Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards banners. The awards, which also include grant monies, honored schools for academic excellence.

Receiving gold awards were: Wren High, $6,593; Cedar Grove Elementary, $1,167; Wren Middle, $2,967; West Pelzer Elementary, $1,500; Wren Elementary, $2,195; and Hunt Meadows Elementary, $2,154. Palmetto Middle received a silver award of $2,100.

Principals present at the meeting were also presented a 2002 Report Card Excellent Rating banner to display at their schools.

In other academic news, Dr. Wayne Fowler, assistant superintendent for instructions, announced that principals and guidance counselors are participating in Tetradata training this week. The software package will manage district test data and allow schools to track student progress and analyze test scores based on “No Child Left Behind” standards.

Fowler also noted that “adoption committees” have been formed to review and select textbooks and instructional materials which align with state and national standards. Areas being reviewed include algebra I and II; math for technologies I, III and III; biology I and II; applied biology I and II; geometry; physical science; physical education; and music K-8.

According to Fowler, a $10,576 technology training grant has been awarded to the district for personnel training.

He also noted that the Career Action Planning Conferences originally set for March 15 have been rescheduled for the afternoons of March 3-14.

The board was also asked to consider a number of recommendations made by the District One administration, including the approval of Policy JICJ, which prohibits the use of pagers by students during school hours.

The board also handed down approval of a $435,488 downward adjustment to the budget in light of the $980,000 cuts by the state. It also okayed the 2003-04 school calendar, which will have staff development begin Aug. 4, followed by the first day of classes Aug. 7.

Trustees also approved three main goals for its legislative grassroots plan. Goals are to lobby for full funding for federal and state mandated programs; the review of state funding policies such as tax formulas and computing per student costs; and the increase of per pupil expenditures to the national average.

In his financial report, District Business Manager Steve Uldrick reported year-to-date revenues of $31,080,345 (46 percent of budget) and expenditures of $27,274,392 (58 percent of budget).

Assistant Superintendent David Havird noted in his December nutritional report that the district served 12 meals, had expenditures of 135,477, and had revenues of $146,709. To date, the district has recorded a profit in its cafeterias of $82,820.






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