Week of Sept.
Council postpones borrowing decision again
During their regular monthly meeting September 13, Williamston Town Council decided to table second reading on a GO bond ordinance which will include borrowing cash for operating expenditures and debt consolidation if approved.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy, presented a new borrowing option for council to consider, a Bond Anticipation Note, along with their consideration of a tax anticipation note (TAN), or a General Obligation Bond (GO Bond) to cover operating expenditures for the town for the remainder of the year.
According to Clardy, the town could consider using property on Cherokee Road as collateral for a loan to provide necessary funding for operating expenses for the town.
The option was suggested by town accountant Larry Finney, according to Clardy.
After some discussion, Council unanimously agreed to hold a special called meeting on Monday Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. to allow the council to meet with the accountant and the bond attorney before acting on the borrowing proposal. Clardy has proposed borrowing $565,000.
During the discussions, Clardy also urged the council to conduct the business of the town and to put politics aside.
The town is in the process of having the Cherokee Road property appraised in preparation of offering it for sale. Council approved the sale of the property as a way to provide operating funds for the town which is facing a shortfall again this year.
During the meeting, Council members approved spending up to $2,000 for an appraisal on the property located on Cherokee Rd.
Mayor Clardy said he had three real estate company bids to appraise the property. All three have been under $2,000, he said.
Clardy also said that because of the water or sewer line improvements done on the property, the appraisal will need to consider the value of the property and the value of the infrastructure improvements to a potential developer.
Before any real estate can be sold by the town, it will have to be approved by the Council, according to Town Attorney Richard Thompson.
In other business, Council unanimously approved second reading on a street department ordinance relating to grass cutting and upkeep on neglected properties in the town.
The updated ordinance puts teeth into the towns ability to enforce the ordinance by allowing costs associated with grass cutting or other maintenance for nuisance properties to be added to the property tax bill each year. If the tax bill and associated costs are not paid, the property will be sold at the delinquent tax property sale, according to Clardy.
The ordinance provides a way to collect it, according to town attorney Thompson.
Clardy also announced that the towns delinquent property tax sale will be held at 11 a.m. Monday Sept. 20 in Council Chambers at the Williamston Municipal Center.
Council unanimously approved first reading on an ordinance raising the telecommunications business license tax from .75 percent to 1.0 percent. The change will bring in an additional 25 percent from the telecommunications companies doing business in the town.
Clardy announced that the Anderson County Municipal Association will meet in Belton on Oct. 14. Mayor Clardy was recently elected to head the county association.
Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison told Council that the local volunteer fire department expects a formal announcement this week that it has been awarded $72,000 from the Federal Homeland Security grant program. A ten percent match required for the grant will be provided by Anderson County Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson, Ellison said.
The funding will go toward providing specialized training for a team of firefighters who will go into a burning structure to rescue a downed fireman, Ellison said.
Ellison said the team will include Belton, Honea Path and Williamston firefighters.
Mayor Clardy also said that the town is asking citizens to be aware of possible flooding problems associated with Hurricane Ivan.
Citizens are asked to report flooding or any problems such as downed limbs or manhole covers that may have been dislodged due to rain water overflows to either Town Hall during regular business hours or the Williamston Police Department after regular business hours.
Clardy said the town experienced some flooding problems during the downpours last week associated with the remnents of Hurricane Frances.
He said anyone needing assistance can contact the town or police department.
The Muncipal Center is designated as an emergency relief shelter for anyone in need.
Clardy said the facilities are available for persons in need of a place to stay, and will provide water and food if necessary.
Several Williamston residents were considering evacuating their homes which were threatened by flooding last week, he said.
He also warned citizens to use extreme caution in flooded areas and not to cross flooded streets.
Eight inches of water is all it takes to move a car off the road according to safety officials, Clardy said.
During the citizens comments portion held at the start of the meeting, Gary Bannister mentioned four items to the mayor and council. Bannister asked about hiring freeze he thought the town was under and whether a new police office has recently been hired.
He also stated that 13 FOI requests he had submitted to the town in June have not been answered.
Bannister also asked about the legalities of the first reading on the towns borrowing of $565,000 because it did not include a specific amount and terms and asked if the town would make spending cuts equal to the amount of money being borrowed.
There was no response from the mayor or council following the comments.
Council then went into executive session to discuss two personnel matters and a contractural matter, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy.
Upon returning to public session, council approved minutes from the August 2, 9 and 17 meetings.
Officials of the Town of West Pelzer announced plans to pursue a $200,000 grant to improve the Main Street area at their regular meeting Monday.
According to Mayor Peggy Paxton, the first step in the application process will be a public hearing which will be held September 20 at 7 p.m. at the Pelzer Community Building. A landscape architect will be present at the hearing to listen to recommendations from citizens for improvements to the Main Street area.
Citizens who are unable to attend the hearing may add their input by sending a letter expressing their ideas and suggestions for consideration.
Paxton explained that she had learned about the grant funds which will be available in March through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) through Sen. Billy ODell who recommended that the town apply for the funds.
In other business, the town council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance for a preliminary agreement to provide police protection to the Town of Pelzer.
The agreement assures $1,500 per month in revenue to the town for the service with a six-month trial period for evaluation by both towns.
The council also unanimously approved a routine transportation resolution allowing Anderson County to pave Park Street. Paxton added that Marguerite Street is preparing to be paved any day now.
Paxton said that she had also received several calls about traffic in areas where children are playing. She recommended that the town purchase seven Children at Play signs at a cost between $25 and $40 each and place them in areas where they are needed. The council unanimously supported Paxtons recommendation.
The council also unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance levying a business license fee on retail telecommunications services.
The council also unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to establish a discretionary fund of $200 for each council member to be used for various projects or needs within the town.
Paxton also mentioned that she had received information about Pride Week for Anderson County which will be held October 2 -9. The Palmetto Pride project would award $1,000 to whatever project has done the best job of improving a common area of the town.
Municipalities participating in the project will also receive a community tool chest for general use by the town. In addition, the winner of the local award will be entered into competition for a $2,000 grant to be awarded to the municipality with the best project in the county.
Harvey Mathias of the South Carolina Local Government Assurance Group was present at the meeting to discuss current insurance benefits and coverage provided to employees by the town. Mathias reminded the council that they maintain full decision-making authority about coverage or any changes in insurance coverage.
After the presentation by Mathias, the council voted to move into executive session with Mathias and Municipal Judge Roger Scott to discuss insurance benefits.
Paxton reported that over $6,000 in overdue taxes had been collected by the town. She also reported that an employee handbook had been reviewed, approved, and distributed to employees last week.
Paxton advised the council that the town received $5,000 from Anderson County to cover the expense of replacing a blower at the sewer plant.
During the citizens agenda, Debbie Young inquired about the status of signs for the town. Paxton reported that she had contacted Jimmy Jeanes about making the signs and was waiting on him to produce them.
Maida Kelly reported that limbs placed in ditches were blocking waterways and creating problems. Paxton said that she would send out an enforcement letter addressing the issue.
Terry Davis reported problems with individuals riding dirt bikes on Spring Street. Police Chief Mark Patterson reported that he would check into the matter.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Sammie Barnett gave a presentation to the council, citizens, and town employees about water and sewer regulations. Barnett presented an overview of procedures, systems, and forms to better manage and deal with water and sewer issues and offered his assistance in addressing the issues.
After months of discussing the issue, Pelzer Town Council approved the first reading of an ordinance for a preliminary agreement to receive police protection from the Town of West Pelzer Police Department at their regular meeting Monday night.
According to the agreement, the Town of Pelzer will pay $1,500 per month to the Town of West Pelzer for the service with a six-month trial period for evaluation by both towns.
In coordination with the agreement, Municipal Clerk Skip Watkins reported that he had received a proof copy from Municipal Code Corporation of Orlando, Florida on the ordinances for the town. According to officials, the town must have a codification of ordinances in order to proceed with plans for police protection.
Watkins reported that he hoped to review the ordinance document and have it ready for first reading by the council at their next regular meeting.
Watkins also reported that the audit is still in process and that he has requested appraisals to confirm the fair market value on property owned by the town. The appraisals are required in order to meet regulations with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
The town council approved the appointment of Angell Adams to fill the vacancy on the Municipal Election Commission due to the death of H. D. Adams. The two-year term on the commission is scheduled to end December 31, 2005.
Mayor Page Henderson reported that Kaco Roofing will begin work on the gymnasium roof September 20. Plans are to apply 30-year shingles to the local landmark, Henderson said.
Town officials also approved the final reading of an ordinance increasing the telecommunications tax from .75 percent to 1 percent.
Watkins reported that he will be meeting this week with representatives from Duke Power to determine which utility poles in the town will accommodate Christmas lights so that the town may proceed with plans for holiday lighting.
An apparent domestic dispute has resulted in the violent deaths of two local men this week according to Anderson County authorities.
Timothy Gerald Haynes, 36, died late Monday afternoon after being shot twice at close range in front of the home he occupied with his mother at 1024 Welcome Road, Williamston.
Joyce Carol Haynes Wilkerson watched helplessly as a man authorities identified as Michael Davis drove away in a 2004 silver Mitsubishi Eclipse after shooting her son.
According to reports, Davis had been threatening Haynes and his family for several months over accusations that Haynes was having a relationship with Davis estranged wife.
As a result of the shooting, Anderson County authorities immediately launched a search for Davis whose residence was listed as 166 Lesley Road, Pelzer.
Around noon on Tuesday, deputies in a helicopter spotted a car matching the description of Davis partially covered near a home on 137 Nannies Circle just off Cherokee Road, Williamston.
Authorities discovered that Davis was armed and located inside a mobile home on the property and called in the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for assistance.
Anderson County deputies and SLED agents surrounded the home located at the end of a driveway. Using two SLED robots equipped with cameras and microphones, deputies talked with Davis who refused to surrender.
Reportedly after an eight-hour standoff, shots were fired around 8:30 p.m., and Davis was pronounced dead on the scene.
Since the shooting involved officers, SLED is handling the investigation of the incident, Anderson County authorities reported.
Authorities recovered vehicles reported stolen in two separate incidents this week according to reports at the Anderson County Sheriffs Department.
Graig Patterson, owner of Trinity Metal Buildings located at 2647 Highway 29 North in Williamston, reported Saturday that someone removed a Sky Lift tractor valued at $15,000 from the yard of the business.
While removing the tractor, the suspect also backed into a race car parked behind the tractor causing approximately $10,000 in damages to the car.
The suspect drove the tractor through the front gate and down Highway 29 toward the Anderson Jockey Lot according to tractor tracks deputies discovered along the highway.
The suspect then drove the tractor across a field and into a grove of trees knocking down several trees with the tractor. Several pieces were broken off the tractor, and a hydraulic line on the tractor burst.
Authorities discovered the tractor still running in a grove of pine trees off Highway 29.
In a separate incident, Richard Cash, owner of Road Runner Autos located at 3430 Earle E. Morris, Jr. Highway in Piedmont, reported Saturday that a 1996 burgundy Honda Accord valued at $5,900 and a 1994 white Chevrolet Lumina valued at $3,400 were stolen from his business.
Greenville County authorities advised that they had arrested a suspect driving the Honda at traffic stop. The Lumina was found by authorities abandoned on Old Dunnon Road in Greenville County.
Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents:
Sept. 12 Tedeschi Auto Repair, 4407 Earle E. Morris, Jr. Hwy., reported that someone entered a fenced parking lot and gained entry to a 2001 gray Ford Crown Victoria valued at $15,000. The suspect drove the vehicle through the rear gate of the business causing $1,000 in damage to the fence. M. D. Campbell investigated.
Sept. 12 Powdersville Water District, 1719 Circle Rd., Easley, reported that someone activated an alarm at the business. Authorities discovered a window open and pry marks on a door, but nothing was reported missing from the business. C. H. Bensse investigated.
Sept. 11 Clarence Barr, 82, 6 Barr Circle, Greenville, reported that someone stole $6,000 in cash and two checkbooks from a vehicle parked in front of his house. R. S. Turner investigated.
Sept. 11 Kenneth Bridges, 38, 100 Claude Dr., Easley, reported that someone broke into his vehicle and stole a Pioneer CD player and 96 CDs valued at $960. J. E. Johnson investigated.
Sept. 10 Peggy Heatherly, 60, 5 River St., Pelzer, reported that someone discharged a firearm through a window into her home while she was away. J. E. Johnson investigated.
Sept. 10 Peggy S. Gerisch, 51, 5 Spring St., Piedmont, reported that someone stole 50 gallons of stain valued at $500 from a building site at 307 Garren Road in Belton. R. S. Turner investigated.
Sept. 2 James Arthur Childress, 57, 408 Foster St., Williamston, reported that a1995 champagne Ford Taurus valued at $3,500 was missing. A. Digirolamo investigated.
Sept. 1 Carol Arndt, 36, 13 Finley St., Pelzer, reported that someone took a mens mountain bike valued at $470 which was parked beside her residence. K. L. Brown investigated.
Sept. 1 Donald Bunton, 69, 905 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, reported that someone took an air conditioner valued at $500 out of a rental trailer. K. J. Burns investigated.
Aug. 31 Baseball and Softball Warehouse, 100A Business Parkway, Piedmont, reported that an inventory revealed that two Vexxum baseball bats valued at $460 were missing from the store. K. J. Burns investigated.
Aug. 30 Talmadge G. Seymore, 69, 1501 Elrod Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone stole a punch press valued at $1,000 from under his trailer. R. McClellan investigated.
Aug. 30 June Vieu, 41, 11801 Highway 81 North, Greenville, reported that a purse and its contents valued at $20 were missing from her home. N. M. Mitchell investigated.
Aug. 30 Dean Townsley Enterprises, 313 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, reported that someone stole five windows valued at $700 from a construction site. S. C. Weymouth investigated.
Aug. 27 Frog Pond Farm, 4308 Hwy. 8, Piedmont, reported that someone took a green copper frog outdoor ornament valued at $2,000. J. M. Durham investigated.
Aug. 27 Ingles, 10903 Anderson Rd., Piedmont, reported that a white male grabbed items valued at $140 and ran out of the store. J. M. Durham investigated.
Aug. 26 - Jawlant Besia, 30, 200 Waldon Way, Piedmont, reported that someone took a 26 red Next bike valued at $60. L. B Culbertson investigated.
Aug. 26 Southeastern Machining, 502 Stegall Rd., Pelzer, reported that someone cut the chain on a gate on the back of the business and stole a white 1993 Chevy truck valued at $6,000. D. B. Anderson investigated.
Aug. 25 Michael Wright Builders, 2302 Anderson Hwy., Williamston, reported that items including light fixtures, appliances, doors, and landscaping materials valued at $34,750 were missing from a residence at 759 Griffin Road in Belton. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.
Aug. 25 Anita S. Lee, 71, 34 Main St., Piedmont, reported that someone took a cattle gate from the posts and entered her property. According to reports, the suspect removed a radio and hand fuel pump from a vehicle and forced entry into a storage building and removed items valued at $2,319. J. A. Burdette investigated.
Aug. 25 Tony Holden, 65, 871 Bracken Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone kicked open a door and damaged rental property at 825 Joe Black Road Lot #11 in Pelzer. Reportedly, a power meter valued at $700 was also stolen. J. A. Burdette investigated.
Aug. 25 - Leela Food Store, 11068 Anderson Rd., Piedmont, reported that a customer pulled a small black handgun on a cashier and requested all the money in the cash register. Reportedly, the suspect got the cash from both registers amounting to approximately $400 and ran out of the store. K. L. Brown investigated.
The Piedmont Footbridge Festival will be held October 15 and 16 in downtown Piedmont.
The Friday night kick-off celebration, scheduled for 6-10 p.m., will feature the Reflections band playing oldies, beach and light rock music.
The band has been featured several times at Rhythm On The River at the Peace Center amphitheater in downtown Greenville, as well as area festivals and private functions. Admission is free.
Saturday will feature arts and crafts, food, an antique show and sale, antique appraisal fair, childrens entertainment area, vintage car show and musical entertainment by local talent.
Some new events are being planned, organizers said.
A community craft sale is being planned for the Piedmont community to be held at the Piedmont Community Center on Nov. 13.
Organizers are looking for crafters interested in having a booth at the pre-holiday fundraising event.
In addition to crafts, other activities planned include music, childs piano recital, elves writing letters to Santa and a north pole mailbox. There will also be food items available.
A Santas secret shop will be available for young shoppers to purchase small presents at a very nominal cost, organizers said. Gift wrapping will also be available.
There will be a $5 booth charge for crafters who will also be asked to donate 10 percent of their sales back to the community to benefit the Piedmont Needy Family Fund and the Ministerial Association.
Both organizations help community citizens throughout the year and especially during the Christmas holiday season.
Organizers said they are planning the event early in November to make sure funds will be available during the holidays for those in need.
September 20, 2004