A local contractor as well as a national construction company are busy with projects targeted at providing affordable housing and additional rental units in the Williamston area.
An apartment complex being built by John A. Cox at the corner of Minor St. and Middleton Blvd. is planned in two phases. The first phase includes 32 units containing two bedrooms, one bath. The units measure 800 square feet and are totally electric with major appliances and a garage.
A waiting list exists for the eight units that should be ready for occupancy next week at a rental rate of $399 per month, according to project manager Chris Chandler.
The second phase of the complex will include 36 duplex apartments. No specific time schedule has been developed for completing this phase Chandler said.
Cox is also developing Mill Creek subdivision on Williams Street. The development consists of 45 lots with two-story homes ranging from 1250 to 1500 square feet. Buyers may choose a three or a four bedroom home with or without a fireplace. All utilities are underground with sod yards.
Selling prices range from $79,900 to $88,500 and the houses are being marketed through local realtors. Several homes have already been sold and will be occupied within the next few weeks according to Chandler. Realtors are also planning an open house soon for prospective buyers, he added.
Wallick Construction Co., headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is building an apartment home complex on Gossett Street across from the National Guard Armory.
The development is modeled after many that the company has already built in other states and will feature large closets, washer/dryer connections, a planned playground, a laundry facility, and an online business center for use by residents according to Glenda Cadorette, regional property manager for Wallick Properties, Inc.
Plans are to open the 64-unit complex in May. Rental fees have not been determined for the one, two, and three bedroom units ranging in size from 730 to 1150 square feet according to Cadorette. She added that the complex is a tax credit property so some income restrictions will apply.
The complex will also have the advantage of an onsite manager to better serve residents, Cadorette added.
During the regular monthly meeting Monday, Mar. 3, Williamston Town Council decided to proceed with donating a town owned lot to Habitat for Humanity and Councilmembers were told they will be presented with the towns annual audit at the next meeting.
Mayor Phillip Clardy said field work on the audit has been completed and that auditors will take the information back to their office where it will be put into a report to be presented to Councilmembers at the April meeting.
Clardy also said the information may be presented to two of the councilmen at a time prior to the April meeting and if needed, in a quorum.
The annual audit of municipal finances is required by law and is being conducted by the auditing firm of Greene, Finney and Horton, LLP.
Clardy said that a committee is meeting to look at job descriptions and compensation for the town and that committee members are currently looking at staff, which he said is the largest department, to make sure it is appropriate.
The mayor also said the planning and zoning committee is in the process of looking at issues and areas of concern affecting the town and to determine if there is a violation of town or zoning ordinances.
We are beginning an aggressive attempt to abate or rectify these problems, Clardy said.
The committee will be meeting soon to take the next step, Clardy said.
The next step, according to Clardy, will be to send an official notification letter to violators.
The complimentary letter will spell out the non-compliance and give the violators approximately two or three weeks notice to comply, Clardy said.
In other business, Mayor Clardy presented Williamstons Street Supervisor Joe Sullens with a plaque recognizing his dedication and work for the Town of Williamston. Sullens is retiring Mar. 7.
Sullens says that he has enjoyed serving the people of Williamston. I get a good feeling doing something beneficial for the people of the town, he commented.
Mayor Clardy said the town will miss the skills and hard work ethic Sullens has brought to his job.
Sullens said he appreciated the opportunity to serve the people of Williamston and offered a special thanks to Councilman Wade Pepper who encouraged him to apply for the position with the Town. Sullens has worked with the town since 1989.
Council also discussed what to do with vacant lots the town owns including providing a lot for Habitat for Humanity.
Clardy said the town is in possession of several lots which have added liablility and the challenge to keep the grass cut.
They are a big cost to the town and a big liability, Councilman Cecil Cothran said.
We shouldnt expect more from our residents than were willing to prepare or take care of ourselves. The responsibility of owning property is keeping it up, Clardy said.
Town officials are in the process of locating properties owned by the Town and will be looking at selling them, according to Clardy.
Municipal Attorney Richard Thompson said the town may not have marketable properties because some of the properties were bought at tax sales.
The properties can be sold by ordinance, can all be listed for sale or partial sale or sold by auction, according to Thompson, who recommended having an auction.
It would be quick and over with, he said. However, according to Thompson, the problem is that you dont get as much as by a private sale.
With an auction, Everybody knows and everybody is there, he said.
If you have sealed bids, there is a large obligation on the clerks office.
With an auction you can get the word out and the auctioneer is responsible for the advertising and settlement on partials.
Most of the properties are probably marketable, he said.
The town would offer a quit claim deed on the properties, as is, according to Thompson, as opposed to offering a general warranty deed.
The town doesnt want to be in the position to certify these lots, Thompson said.
The only legal requirement is to sell the properties by ordinance which must have two readings, the attorney said.
At the request of Mayor Clardy, an item was added to the agenda to allow council to discuss providing a lot for a Habitat for Humanity project.
Habitat representative Walt Smith asked that Lot 127 on Circle St. be designated for a proposed project home in Williamston. Smith said a suitable applicant had been approved and the organization was ready to begin work.
The town attorney said that the legal paperwork should be completed and approved by Council before any work is done at the property.
Once legal paperwork is finalized, town council will hold two readings on an ordinance for the transfer. To expedite the process, the readings may be held in special called meetings, according to Clardy.
Smith said he is pushing the project to begin as soon as possible because there are a number of volunteers involved in the building process that are ready to begin. Smith also said he hopes to include labor provided by students at the Career and Technology Center.
Smith said the organization may have another prospect for a separate project and asked the town to consider donating another piece of property.
In other business, Councilman Greg Cole asked about the restitution payment from Marion Middleton.
Mayor Clardy said the payment had been received and will be dispersed to the accounts it was originally taken from.
Councilman Cothran suggested that the town should consider having an internal audit every quarter.
I dont think we need to wait until the end of the year, Cothran said. Youll never know whats going on.
Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., councilmembers met at 5:30 Monday for a workshop discussion.
During the workshop, which basically followed the agenda, Mayor Clardy said the results of the annual audit being conducted on the Towns books will be presented at the next Council meeting.
Clardy said that Boyd Greene of Greene, Finney and Horton was asked to look at the towns finances to help provide suggestions for dealing with a budget crunch and to help with forecasting for the town.
Clardy also said there were some system problems associated with different accounts and expenditures.
Councilman Cothran said a person independent from the town should look at the books.
Anderson County Council offered enthusiastic support to an economic development announcement which opened their regular meeting Tuesday night.
County Administrator Joey Preston introduced a resolution authorizing an inducement agreement between the County and Fraenkische USA involving an investment of at least $8 million by the company and the creation of 50 or more new jobs within five years.
The company which is involved in plastic injection molding and plastic corrugated pipe technology plans to locate on Highway 81 across from Robert Bosch Corp. in the former Tenneco plant site. The company is a supplier for BMW, Bosch and Plastic Omnium.
Council member Cindy Wilson welcomed the company saying she was glad to see a District 7 building put to good use.
This is great news a shot in the arm to the county economy, Council member Clint Wright added. Council member Larry Greer commented that the announcement is a result of the pro business climate of the county.
Concerns from citizens regarding a resolution authorizing the execution and delivery of an equipment lease-purchase agreement for $2.6 million to defray the cost of acquiring various equipment approved in the annual budget led to additional questioning by council members. After explaining several items, Preston encouraged the council to let us do our job dont get in to micro-managing. Wilson countered, We work for the county taxpayer; we would be derelict without questioning.
Council member Gracie Floyd asked if these were rock bottom prices. Preston indicated that they were. Greer added that due to lease-purchase agreements, the actual costs would be less than stated.
Wilson abstained from voting due to disagreement with some items listed. The resolution passed with the support of the remaining council members.
Council unanimously supported a resolution adopting policies recommended by the Anderson County EMS Commission as permanent regulations.
After concerns expressed by several citizens, the Council tabled a zoning ordinance for Centerville A imposing a building permit moratorium pending the completion of a zoning map and a community meeting. Wilson introduced the ordinance and cast the only vote opposing the tabling.
After a public hearing on an ordinance requesting rezoning of 34.67 acres on Concord Rd. near the intersection of McClellan Rd. from R-20 to R-10, the Council voted unanimously to table the issue due to a need for more information.
A request to rezone 109 Sam McGee Road from R-20 to C-1 (Commercial) was unanimously tabled after a need arose for more information about the intended use of the property.
The third reading of an ordinance to rezone 10.68 acres on Lebanon Road from R-A (Residential Agriculture) to PD (Planned Development) received unanimous council approval.
The group heard a presentation from Teresa Morgan concerning storm water run-off and water quality issues. A photo presentation illustrated relevant issues of concern in the county.
Dr. Julia Ashley and several costumed participants presented information on a re-enactment of the last battle of the Civil War scheduled March 21-23 at Troy Murdock Rd. in Belton. She explained the educational and economic benefits of the event and requested funding to help support the expenses of the event.
Unanimous approval of requests by Council members Greer, Wilson and Holden resulted in a total contribution of $2,988 to the re-enactment event.
A $39,385 paving request from Wilson received unanimous approval. The major portion of the request - $15,000 involved paving to be done at the Honea Path Recreation Center. Wilson also received approval for a $500 expenditure to the Bosch Robotics Team.
A split vote gave Holden approval for a $10,000 appropriation to the Homeland Park Water District. Greer cast the only opposing vote on this expenditure.
In closing remarks, Wilson asked for an improvement and upgrade to the Convenience Center at the Jockey Lot. She also requested an explanation of the lien against the Civic Center and a report on the costs involved in producing the public relations inserts recently distributed in area newspapers.
Greer, Holden and Wilson all closed with comments about adherence to the zoning process and a need for community-based citizen input.
The council members received copies of the county land use document for their review. Greer mentioned that copies will be placed in every library in the county so that citizens may also review the document. He emphasized that the document has long, far reaching impact on the community.