News Archive

(0605) Week of Feb. 9, 2005

Reserve program reinstated, new officers introduced
Council approves proceeding with auction sale of property
Local roller skaters in regional competitions
Planning Commission tables development on Midway Road
Outdoor Expo in Piedmont Feb. 19
Sheriff’s dispatch to return to 911 Center


Reserve program reinstated, new officers introduced

During their regular meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved second reading on an ordinance reestablishing the reserve police officer program for the town and were introduced to officers who will staff the program.

The auxilary police program will assist the police department for the safety and well being of the town  at the discretion of the police chief, according to Mayor Clardy.

The reserve officers provide their own uniforms, weapons and are not compensated, the mayor said.

Williamston Police Chief Troy Martin said the town had applicants from the community and is taking advantage of the situation involving State Constables to fill positions on the reserve force.

Most of the men volunteering for the program have worked with the town as State Constables for several years and “Will be an asset for years,” according to Martin.

The reserves will have a slightly different uniform from the regular officers who have a gray shirt with black pants.  Reserves will have a black shirt with black pants, he said. According to Martin , the only  item being supplied by the town is a patch.

“They are professional and they have the necessary qualifications,” Martin said.

The officers each have to have 72 hours of training, according to Martin. 

“Most reserve programs take months to get started,” he said. “It is a good beginning. They already know our town.”

Chief Martin introduced Ken Willis and Joey Griffen, who he said were  in Class B uniforms, not carrying weapons till the matter with SLED is finalized.

Both officers will be acting in a supervisory and administrative capacity in the reserve program, “coordinating with my supervision,” the Chief said.

After introducing reserve officer applicants, Reserve officer Joey Griffen then read a mission statement, creed, and guidelines for the program.

Reserve officer Rick Haskett said he plans to offer a community crime prevention programs which he said will be a proactive.

He plans to present several programs including a residential and business security survey, robbery and safety training, shoplifting prevention, auto theft and sexual assault prevention. The safety programs will be available to homeowners and church or civic groups.

He said he will also cover locks, security devices, community watch programs and firearms safety.

Responding to a question by Councilman Cecil Cothran, Martin said the reserve officers will have police authority just like regular officers and the new ordinance being approved brings the reserve program under state mandates.

Martin said the reserve officers do not have to walk with another officer and can operate in patrol cars like regular officers.

“We do not have to teach them how to police,” Martin said, because the reserves are already trained.

Councilman Cothran asked the Chief about use of town patrol vehicles by the reserves.

Chief Martin said they can use town vehicles and he can place them in personally owned vehicles by declaring the vehicle as an emergency vehicle within the town of Williamston.

“None of these men are loose cannons,” the Chief said. “They will report directly to me.”

Mayor Clardy said the town is being proactive, rather than reactive.

“I want to reassure the public and the community that there is no intention of them taking the place of our regular officers. They are here to help us.”

Clardy said his specific goals  were to address improprieties in the police department through internal and external changes and do with less money.

“If we had to hire these men, we couldn’t afford it,” he said. “The program will probably be an example, with the qualifications we have,” he said.

“It looks like we will have a good program,” Councilman Cothran said following the presentation.

Council unanimously approved the reserve program ordinance.

Council approves proceeding with auction sale of property

After more than seven months of discussions, Williamston Town Council approved first reading on an ordinance authorizing the sale of the Cherokee Road property by public auction. Hugh Durham and Associates of Anderson will handle the sale.

According to town attorney Richard Thompson, the property will be sold at a live auction with the winner being declared at the end of the auction.

Mayor Phillip Clardy said there were still questions concerning factors associated with the sale including  the condition of the existing sewer lines on the property after more than 20 years and whether the lines on the property are tied to a lift station in the vicinity. There are also questions concerning the capacity of the lift station.

Clardy said the unanswered technical questions raise questions of what the town is selling, what the buyer is buying, the liability of the lines and if the property will be sold as-is.

During discussions, the town attorney said the town has the option to reject any and all bids made on the property and Councilman Cecil Cothran said he thought the property should be sold “as is.”

The attorney said details of the sale will be advertised and will be made known in the next few days to several weeks. There was no mention of the appraisal recently completed on the property. Council unanimously approved first reading and must approve second reading before proceeding with the auction sale.

 Council unanimously approved a change in the business license ordinance regarding pool halls and arcades.

New wording is being added to a provision for pool halls in the town which specifically excludes minors being allowed in a pool hall.

The new wording allows for the playing of pool and billiards in teen clubs under certain circumstances.

The ordinance states that since the original ordinance was enacted, some business establishments attract a youth clientele in a supervised setting such as a a teen club or arcade with no alcohol or gambling permitted.

The new ordinance also includes a provision that the establishment be appropriately supervised and states that the only cost for pool or billiards tables are the funds necessary to operate the vending pool or billiard table, generally by a coin operated vending unit.

Council also approved second reading on an ordinance reestablishing the reserve officer program in the town. Several reserve officer candidates who are to be the first to make up the new auxiliary police force were introduced to Council.  (See separate story)

At the beginning of the regular meeting, Mayor Clardy asked for a moment of silence in memory of Bill Moore, a Williamston resident who attended most town council meetings and often offered input into matters affecting the town.

Pam Owens requested use of the Municipal Building on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 for a tea party and Christmas dinner. Owens said they will want to use the pink room and other facilities. Council unanimously approved the request.

Council also unanimously approved a request by Dianne Lollis to use the park for a special Red Hat event on Saturday, July 16.

Council also approved several appointments including naming Bill Fricks to the zoning board of appeals; Ronnie Sargent, James Pressley and Mamie Clinkscales to the Planning Commission; Diane Carter and Frances Royal named to the Election Commission and Velma Pressley and Gregory Davis named to the Grievance Committee.

Mayor Clardy announced that the Anderson County Municipal Association will meet Feb. 10 with the Towns of Pelzer and West Pelzer hosting at 7 p.m. at the Pelzer Community Building.

Council then went into executive session to discuss a personnel item.

Mayor Clardy said the Council would adjorn from executive session.

Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., Council met in an informal work session in the mayor’s office at 5 p.m.

Several department heads, citizens and The Journal were present for the meeting. During the work session, Mayor Clardy said the town will continue to use constables and will use all resources available to the town.

He said  he had given Williamston Police Chief Troy Martin authority to act in what he feels is in the best interest of the town, “as long as it is in line with the law and complies with the budget.”

During the work session it was mentioned that Big Creek Water District will provide water service to the Cherokee Rd. property the town is selling and that there are still questions concerning the sewer lines and a tie in with the pump station in the area.

Mayor Clardy advised Council that a business operating in the town has not been issued a business license because the town’s ordinances do not reflect a category for arcades.

Clardy said the town’s business license ordinance does include a category for a pool hall but the ordinance does not reflect the type of business which includes an arcade setting with pool tables, but where there is no gambling or alcohol involved.

Clardy said the business is operating without a business license because “there is no place to put them,” and that the attorney has had information for a revision in the ordinance for several months.

Council also heard information from Dianne Lollis concerning reservation of sheds in Mineral Spring Park on Sat. July 16 for a special event for the Red Hat Society.

Council also heard information concerning a Christmas Dinner on Dec. 10 for Red Hatters and the Williamston Historical Commission.

Local roller skaters in regional competitions

Two area skaters, roller skaters that is, are hoping to someday follow in the tracks of their National Champion instructors and will be participating in a pre-regional roller skating competition next week.

Elizabeth Hughes and Layne Stone both spend hours practicing their routines at The Skate Place in Piedmont, readying for competitions under the instruction of coaches Angela and Ryan Pitts.

Both skaters will compete in the Southern Region pre-regionals at Spins Nations Rink in Port Richey Fl. Feb. 19-21.

The competition will feature roller-skaters from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Their coach, Angela Pitts is a multinational champion and USARS and RSA certified coach. Her husband, Ryan also helps coach and also is a multinational champion , USARS and RSA certified coach.

Angela said she is looking forward to seeing how her students do. “I think they have come a long way very fast,” Coach Pitts said.

The girls skate artistic freestyle which have certain content requirements such as a maximum of five jumps, three spins and can include combinations of jumps and spins, Pitts said.

The routines are similar to ice skating routines, but instead of an inner or outer edge, roller skaters have four edges from which they skate including an inner, outer, forward or back.

In freestyle, they can take off and land on one foot and jumps can be half jumps to triples, according to Pitts.

Layne, 7, is doing half jumps and  competes to music from Oceans 12. 

She is the daughter of Tami Woodrum of Powdersville and Jimmy Stone of Honea Path and attends Concrete Primary School. She has been skating for one year and trains two to three times each week for 30 minutes to one hour each session.

She has a first place and a second place at the Romp-n-Roll competition in Conyers, Ga. in October and two first place finishes at Skate Station USA competition in Lexington on Nov. 4.

Elizabeth, 9, attends Powdersville Elementary, where she is in the fourth grade. Her routine is choreographed to music from Pirates of the Caribean. She does one and a half jumps in her routine. She is the daughter of Eddie and Jean Hughes of Powdersville.

Elizabeth received two first place finishes and a second place finish at Skate Station in Lexington in May and two first place and a second place in November.

She also had two first place finishes and a second place finish at Romp-n-roll in Conyers , Ga. in October.

Angela and Ryan are owners and instructors with their company Roller Time, which offers skating instruction at several roller rinks in the Upstate including The Skate Place in Piedmont.

“I am doing what I love,” Angela said.

In addition to instruction, she said the company is in the process of publishing a skills evaluation program for parents to know how much their child is improving.

Together Ryan and Angela offer varied experience in skating instruction, from group and private lessons to one-on-one lessons which have resulted in their students placing in the National Competitions.

Angela has been competing in skating events since 1988. She is a two time national champion in the artistic division where she competed at a more professional artistic level  from 2001 until retiring recently.

She is currently the undefeated multi-champion in the rock-n-roll, pairs and freestyle division.

She said she recently made the decision to retire after finding that she would rather be instructing than trying to compete and coach at a big competition.

“We’ve had our time in the spotlight,” she said.

Ryan has been competing since 1992 in the rock-n-roll freestyle and pairs division and is also an undefeated multi-champion. He started competing in the artistic division in 1996 and is a five time national champion in singles and pairs.

For more information, visit their website at or call (864)268-6632 or call the Skate Place at (864)295-0673.

The Skate Place is located at Exit 39 off I-85, Hwy. 143, River Road in Piedmont.

Planning Commission tables development on Midway Road

The Anderson County Planning Commission had a short session Tuesday night, with only a bare quorum of four members present to conduct a brief agenda. Most of the attention centered around a rezoning request for a 13.18  acre tract on Midway Road just north of Oak Hill Road. The tract is currently zoned R-20, a designation that allows for two homes per acre.

Developer John Montgomery was seeking a change to a planned development designation which would have allowed twice as many units per acre. In fact, with appropriate acreage set aside for a stormwater retention pond and road right of way, the housing density would have been closer to 6 units per acre.

Montgomery stressed that the homes, in the range of $200-$230,000, would have brick fronts, vinyl siding on sides and rear, attached garages with doors and would contain between 1800 and 2100 square feet of heated space.

Several residents spoke about the request during a public hearing held on the matter. While none expressed outright opposition to the proposed development, several raised traffic and  traffic safety concerns.

Ed Jean, who lives near the tract, spoke to the ongoing trend in the county to allow development without necessarily upgrading infrastructure to make such development safer and more feasible. Brantley Jordan echoed the concerns about traffic.

Figures presented by the county planning staff indicated that the new development, with a total of 48 units would produce 35 trips per day during the morning traffic hours, and 48 trips a day in the evening hours. The nearest traffic counter on Midway Road, which is closer to Anderson, shows an average of 2900 vehicles per day.

Planning Commission attorney Steve Newton informed the board that the citizens’ advisory board voted 3-0 to deny the request, while county planning staff recommended approval.

Charles Campbell, who represents District 3 on the board, moved to deny the request, and was seconded by J.T. Boseman. The vote split 2-2 with Chairman Alva Goodwin and Joe Garvin voting to approve.

The motion died, leaving the board with the decision of what to do next. After discussing sending the question to the full county council, Campbell instead moved, upon advice from Attorney Newton, to table the issue until the March 8 meeting of the commission.

Outdoor Expo in Piedmont Feb. 19

Outdoor enthusiasts in the area will  want to check out the Piedmont Area Hunting and Fishing Expo in Piedmont from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 19.

Co-sponsored by the Piedmont Public Service District and the Greenville County Recreation District, the Expo will bring together exhibits and demonstrations from top hunting and fishing vendors, the department of natural resources, clothing outfiters, and other products at the Piedmont Community Building.

Recreation District event planner Nancy Callihan said that the Expo is part of the Recreation District’s new direction to offer activities that are of interest to individuals who enjoy recreation centered around nature and the outdoors.

 Lunch will be offered at the Expo. The Piedmont Fire District is serving a delicacy called “Kush.” The recipe dates back to the early 1900s and is listed in the SC Historical Society Archives in the State Museum.

Admission is $3. Lunch is extra. For more information call (864) 288-6470.

Sheriff’s dispatch to return to 911 Center

Anderson County Sheriff David Crenshaw announced this week that the dispatchers for the Sheriff’s Office will be relocating to the Central Communication’s 911 Dispatch Center on 213 South Towers St. in Anderson.

The move will take place during the first week of March.

“This move is a show of cooperation from  Sheriff Crenshaw,” said Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston. “Our residents always benefit from collaborative efforts.”

The relocation of dispatchers will enable the interoperability of all 911 responders, officials said. It will provide a shared infrastructure that will aid in improving respponse times, enhanceed safety for first responders, and will provide long-term saving.

The ability to monitor other radio channels will also be a critical element in the ability to assist other agencies.

Officials said the relocation will reduce the repetition of calls and more information wil be provided more promptly to police, EMS, fire and SC Highway Patrol, leading to better tailored responses.

“We are concerned about the need to upgrade the equipment at the Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Crenshaw said. “It makes sense to dove tail back into the county-wide system, so that everyone;s equipment is compatible.”






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