News Archive

Week of Oct. 4204, 2004

Week of Oct. 20, 2004

Delta Woodside to close Piedmont Estes Plant
Town of Pelzer to have police coverage, Christmas lighting
Summer day camps to return to Piedmont Community Center
Voters to use electronic touch screen this election
Clardy to focus on town challenges if reelected
Appell, Crenshaw face off in Anderson County Sheriff's race
Do area towns have too many employees?
Honea Path Sugarfoot festival Oct. 22, 23
Congressman, senator campaign through area
Wilson opposes county debt, lack of financial information
Woodmont High principal arrested on assault charge

Delta Woodside to close Piedmont Estes Plant

Delta Woodside Industries announced today (Wednesday) that its board of directors recently approved a comprehensive realignment plan that will streamline the company’s operations and provide for significant cost reductions.

As part of the realignment plan, the company will close its Estes Plant, a cotton and cotton blend spinning and weaving facility located in Piedmont.

The closing is planned to be completed in approximately 30 days and will affect approximately 361 hourly and salaried employees.

Under the plan, the company will maintain its current finishing capacity and expects this closing will allow it to more fully utilize its remaining cotton weaving capacity and reduce unabsorbed fixed costs associated with excess weaving capacity.

In connection with the closing of the Estes Plant and additional cost reduction initiatives, the company expects to record a pre tax charge in the second quarter of fiscal year 2005 ranging from $9.0 to $12.0 million comprised of $3.0 to $4.0 million in cash charges. The cash charges are primarily wage and salary severance benefit costs.

The company will also undertake other aggressive cost reduction initiatives that, when combined with the efficiency gains associated with the closing of the Estes facility, are expected to improve annual pretax earnings ranging from $11.0 million to $16.0 million when compared to the fiscal year 2004 results.

W. F. Garrett, President and CEO commented: “Our industry and more specifically our company continues to suffer from a high level of over capacity in the textile industry, inconsistent demand at retail, and pressure from foreign imports that could intensify in January of 2005 with the elimination of import quotas among WTO member states.

“We regret that many loyal and dedicated associates across the company will be adversely affected by this unfortunate but necessary cost reduction initiative. However, these difficult conditions coupled with a lack of political support for our industry require that we take this aggressive approach. We believe this plan will enable the company to meet the needs of its customers on a cost effective and profitable basis and compete effectively in the textile industry as it will exist in 2005 and beyond.”

Delta Woodside Industries, currently headquartered in Greenville, manufactures and sells textile products for the apparel industry.

The company currently employs approximately 1,500 people and operates five plants located in South Carolina. Upon completion of the realignment plan, the company will be headquartered in Fountain Inn and will employ approximately 1,100 people and will operate four plants.

Summer day camps to return to Piedmont Community Center

Greenville County Recreation District will hold day camps again next summer at the Piedmont Community Center, Chairperson Marsha Rogers announced at the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners for the Piedmont Public Service District Monday.

Activities will be offered again next summer for middle school children through the Greenville YMCA at the Community Center, Rogers added.

“The only thing we need is a program for retirees,” Rogers said.

Rogers reported that the $5,000 for park improvements had been used to purchase bleachers, two benches for additional dugout seating, and four benches to be placed around the walking track.

Rogers reminded everyone that Halloween candy would be available for children on October 30 at the fire department and at the Piedmont United Methodist Church.

Commissioner Al McAbee reported a total of 48 calls to the fire department in September which included: 7 structure fires, 1 vehicle fire, 5 vehicle accidents, 27 medical calls, 3 electrical calls, 1 gas leak, 2 sewer calls, and 2 rescue calls.

Two structure fires were very involved, and one of the rescues involved a car that was trapped by water during the hurricane, McAbee said.

“We had a good turnout on calls last month – both paid and volunteer personnel,” McAbee added.

McAbee also reported that E-One had performed maintenance on all the trucks and that the ladders had been tested.

Chief Administrator Butch Nichols reported that the fire department planned to use a $1,500 matching grant to redo a service truck. He also reported that he had purchased two new folding tables for the district.

The commissioners scheduled the next meeting for November 15 at 7 p.m. with no meeting to be held in December and adjourned.

Town of Pelzer to have police coverage, Christmas lighting

Pelzer Town Council made their final move toward receiving police protection and heard plans for Christmas lighting at their meeting Monday night.

The council unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance for a preliminary agreement to receive police protection from the Town of West Pelzer Police Department.

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.

The agreement will now need to receive approval from county and state law enforcement authorities to go into effect.

In coordination with the agreement, the council held a first reading in title only of a code of ordinances prepared by Municipal Code Corporation of Orlando, Florida according to state guidelines. According to officials, the town must have a codification of ordinances in order to proceed with plans for police protection.

Henderson explained that the lengthy code of ordinances would be available at Town Hall for council members to read and review.

Once police protection is in place, planned improvements and upgrades will be made to the two parks in the town, Henderson explained.

Henderson also announced the plans for Christmas lighting for the town. Hardware to accommodate Christmas lights will be added to 18 poles along Lebby Street and will meet Duke Power and BellSouth regulations, Henderson said. Christmas decorations at a cost of about $9,995 have been ordered, he added.

In other business, the council unanimously agreed to renew a franchise agreement with Charter Communications. The town receives approximately $5,000 per year in revenue from the agreement, Municipal Clerk Skip Watkins said.

The council also unanimously approved a request from Ricky Shirley at 47 Adger Street to lease property extending to the Saluda River for $1 per year. In a letter to the town, Shirley outlined plans to clean up and improve the condition of the property.

Henderson informed the council about a letter the town received from DeWitt Stone explaining his continuing efforts to get CSX to give the train station property to the town.

Henderson reported that a new roof with 30-year shingles had been installed on the Pelzer Gymnasium by Kaco Roofing. Preparation work for painting the local landmark is currently in process, Henderson said.

Henderson explained that recent local water testing and sampling showed no evidence of lead or copper in the water system.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) would be performing an inspection November 16, Henderson reported. “We’ve never had any problems with these inspections,” Henderson said. Henderson also reported that Jeff Bruce will be working toward getting an “A permit” in biological waste water.

According to Henderson, he and County Council member Cindy Wilson plan to meet this week with Tom Green, the owner of the mill properties, to discuss Green’s plans for the local mill sites.

Voters to use electronic touch screen this election

Voters in the Nov. 2 general election will use a new electronic touch screen voting machine to cast their ballots.

The SC Votes Tour Bus made a stop at the Williamston Municipal Center, and the Ingles in Powdersville last Thursday to demonstrate the machines.

The bus will take the demonstration machines to festivals, events and other public venues through November 2 as part of the state’s Help America Vote Act (HAVA) plan launched by the South Carolina Election Commission and local county election commission offices.

The display allows local residents a hands-on opportunity to try out the new electronic touch screen voting machines which will be used in the November general election.

Electronic touch screen voting is easy, accurate, secure and fast according to information provided with the demonstration.

To vote, a pollworker will activate the ballot by inserting a personal electronic ballot (PEB) device.

The voter will then select candidates, by touching the box next to the candidates’ names. The touch screen system prevents voters from voting for more than one candidate for each office.

Voters can proceed through the ballot by touching the next button on the screen or go back by touching the “BACK” button.

After completing the ballot, voters can review and read over selections and can make changes by touching the box next to the original candidate to deselect. Then touch the box next to make the new selection.

Once complete, voters will press the flashing red “VOTE” button at the top of the system to cast their vote.

A final screen states, “Thank you for voting” indicating the voter has properly cast a vote.

The HAVA program was enacted to upgrade election systems nationwide, protect the integrity of elections and promote public awareness and participation in the electoral process.

South Carolina is leading the nation as one of the first states to replace the remainder of its punch-card, optical scan and older electronic systems with state-of-the-art electronic touch screen voting machines.

Six counties in the state have been using the electronic voting machines since 1986.

The system is not connected to a computer network or the internet, preventing any hacking or manipulation of votes.

Three independent memory locations ensure no votes will be lost or altered.

The SC Votes Tour Bus will travel throughout the 15 counties in South Carolina that will use the new touch screen electronic voting system during the 2004 election.

Participating counties include Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Calhoun, Cherokee, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lexington, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and York.

The demonstration machines on the tour bus include a S.C. Fun Ballot, where voters can vote for their favorite vacation spot, barbecue sauce, iced tea, state college football team, NASCAR driver and “fair food.”

Those votes will be tallied and reported throughout the fall. For more information, visit www.scvotes.org or call your county election commission.

A short video, answering questions and demonstrating how to vote using the new electronic voting equipment, which will be used in every Anderson County Precinct for the November 2 general election is available at the Anderson County Voter Registration and Elections Office. Civic groups, clubs, churches, schools, businesses and industry or individuals may check out the video. The office, located at 107 S. Main St. (the old Bailes Building, directly behind the Historic Court House), is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Clardy to focus on town challenges if reelected

Finances, infrastructure, downtown revitalization and working in harmony with council are priorities for Phillip Clardy if he is reelected mayor of Williamston.

The fiscal condition of the town, which he said he has been working on during his four years as mayor, is his number one priority.

Clardy said when he took over the job of running the town in 2001, he began with a fogged and clouded  perspective of the town’s fiscal condition. He said there was also a lack of records. He said he began looking at the operation of the town as a whole.

According to Clardy, when he entered the office, the 2000 audit showed  the town’s financial handling was rated at a  1 or 2 based on a scale of 10, according to the new accounting firm he brought in.

He said he made two committments; to figure out the financial condition of the town and to come up with a plan to correct the conditions mentioned in the audit, bringing financial stability to the town.

With six reportable conditions listed on the audit, Clardy said he took corrective actions to hire personnel to provide accountability with more checks and balances.

Clardy said to the public the additional personnel may not make sense, but he said the extra checks and balance provided, “make me feel more comfortable.”

He said salary cuts and stopping a practice of  “extra money being paidto members of council” helped pay for the additional personnel.

He said the police department currently has 19 employees including the chief, victim’s advocate and chief’s assistant.

“The departments have not increased by any great margin,” Clardy said. According to Clardy the police department had approximately the same number of employees during the 1990s.

The victim’s advocate position is a state requirement and is funded  through a percentage of fine money collected which is placed into a victim’s escrow account.

In addition to dealing with “issues and town problems,” Clardy said he has also had to deal with other challenges facing the town.

Clardy said challenges include those being faced by municipalities across the state such as rising health insurance costs and declining revenues.

He points to cuts such as the automobile tax being phased out without replacement funding being available, which he said results in the local level being hit the hardest. “There is no one else to pass it down to,” Clardy said.

Clardy said the town is dealing with other fiscal struggles that are the result of  “practices that put us in this place.”

He said he is looking at other resources to met the town’s needs, without raising property taxes. “We are trying to do more with less,” he said.

He also points out that the town has grown and needs have grown. “We are trying to meet those needs with less,” he said.

Clardy said the long term plans he has will bring more financial stability to the town.

He said he wants to find revenue sources and “make sure we are getting our fair share.”

There are things the town can do that will eventually bring in additional revenues, according to Clardy.

One thing he wants to do is to help grow the local economy.

The closing of the Bonyar manufacturing plant and the resulting loss of revenues has had an impact on the town. He said  he wants to find a tenant for the building which will bring additional revenues for the town, having a direct impact on town deficits.

Opening a business, which he said was the start of revitalization for an empty shopping center on East Main Street, is another example.

Entrepreneurs and their businesses, more housing and apartments result in additional property taxes and water services being provided by the town, according to Clardy.

Clardy also said that promotion and beautification of the town are also important.

“Small towns are now competing with big cities,” Clardy said, “with  residents going there for their needs and wants. It should be our priority to provide services to keep residents here,” he said

According to Clardy this will result in more revenues.

Clardy said he wants to work with local businesses. “We can try to help our businesses,” he said, “by being more attractive.”

“Tourism is another way to help the local economy,” Clardy said. “It is not just on the coast.”

He points to the rails to trails project, enhancing town festivals and celebrations as a way to  help bring people to the town.

“They have been added for our residents and our guests,” Clardy said. He also stated that he believes most businesses would say that “sales have increased on those days.”

“We have to make our community more attractive,” he said.

Clardy points out his recently opened restaurant business which he said has brought life to a dilapidated shopping center.

“I chose to take a dilapidated shopping center and help to bring it to life. Now every building is filled.”

“We are selling our town,” he said “We have to do something to attract people.”

“Potted plants are not that expensive,” Clardy said, referring to criticisms of the cost of providing flowers in the town.

Clardy said he has had numerous compliments from residents who have said that the plants make the community attractive and he plans to continue when the town has the revenues to enhance the community.

Clardy said there are expenditures being made by the town that he said he doesn’t think are frivolous or excessive.

“Money is being spent on a service that will directly affect them,” Clardy said.

“We will cut everywhere we possibly can,” Clardy said, pointing out that $523,000 was cut from the budget as a result of last year’s audit.

“We can’t cut services,” he said. “The plan is to cut where we can and to take advantage of revenues without raising taxes. We want to do what we can do to stimulate the economy,” he said.

Clardy said that dealing with the fiscal problems takes time. “I have never promised a quick fix,” he said.

Another challenge facing the town is infrastructure.

 The town is in need of an upgrade for water and sewer services in the mill village and officials have applied for a $3 million grant to replace and upgrade those lines. Clardy said he hopes the federal funding will go through in the next year.

He said his attendance of Washington conferences, where he can sit down with congressmen, helps obtain grants.

He said the town is also in need of upgrades at the waste water treatment plant.

Roads are also a priority. Clardy said the town works with the county on street paving.

 Main Street has become an issue, he said. The additional center turn ing lane added by SCDOT several years ago has resulted in traffic being pushed to the shoulders of the highway, where unfortunately the town’s water and sewer lines are located.

 Vehicles driving over the water and sewer lines are resulting in compacting and rippling of pavement along West Main Street. Clardy said he is working with SCDOT to correct the problem.

He said the town has seen other improvements since he took office. 

Traffic lights have been added at Hamilton St. and Roberts Blvd and he is working with SCDOT to install additional traffic lights on Minor St., Major Rd. and Hamilton St. at the schools and Roberts Blvd. at Greenville Dr.

Clardy said he took a bold step to proceed with litigation with Anderson County to deal with the Gray Drive bridge problem which has been ongoing for many years.

“We have done the only thing we can do, force their hand to deal with the bridge,” he said. “The thing should be replaced or removed.”

Clardy said he wants to be proactive in dealing with problems by establishing progressive programs.

“You want to do what you can to keep it from breaking, not wait until it breaks,” Clardy said.

This also applies to policing, which he said is different under his administration.

Just having a presence may deter crimes from being committed, Clardy said.

“You don’t just enforce the law when it is broken, but make a presence there so it won’t be broken,” he said.

According to Clardy, the town’s crime rates have decreased, and along with it, the town’s crime revenues.

He said there have been numerous arrests both in the county and in other municipalities as the result of a new drug tip line.

Downtown revitalization is also a priority.

“It will be a big step we’re taking in the next year,” Clardy said, “applying for grants and discussion of a game plan.”

Clardy said the town wants to endorse a plan and bring a focus to the downtown area.

He said the town is looking for assistance to deal with the problem of unused and unsightly buildings and he said there is funding available for “brownsfield areas.”

 Clardy said blights in the town are being reduced and are becoming less of a problem as buildings are being filled or removed.

One of the biggest challenges, according to Clardy, is he and council working together and “dealing with the facts amidst all the rumors.”

“Council members that have taken the initiative to sit down and learn the facts are the ones more inclined to work with me,” he said. “I have never asked council to take sides,” he said. “I have asked them to only to do what’s best for the town, even on issues we disagree on.”

Clardy said it is easy to talk and criticize, but “tell me what is your solution.”

If reelected, Clardy said he will recommit to setting politics aside in dealing with the business of the town.

“That’s what we are elected to do,” he said. “The people set my agenda. I listened to what people told me and I will deliver what I promised,” he said.

Clardy said he promised to change the image of the town and the police department, deal with inappropriate behavior, work with all ethnic groups and toward providing activities for young people. “And I will continue to do this for the next four years,” he said.

Clardy said regardless of the outcome of the election he will be involved in the town.

“The people will decide which side of the mayor’s desk I will side on, either behind it answering questions or in front of it asking the questions,” Clardy said. “I will be active in the town’s government either way. This is my town.”

Appell, Crenshaw face off in Anderson County Sheriff’s race

A new sheriff will take the reins of Anderson County law enforcement come January, and two men are each hoping for the opportunity to take on that job.

Political newcomer Bob Appell received the Democratic nomination in the June primary.

“Our citizens are being deprived of quality law enforcement &ldots; I can no longer sit by passively and watch as citizens of Anderson County are misled into believing that they are receiving the best protection &ldots; in the most economical manner,” Appell says.

“The Sheriff’s Office must be held accountable for the taxpayer dollars it receives and spends &ldots; in a manner that minimizes costs while maximizing public safety,” Appell adds.

Appell moved from New York to the Upstate in 1994 and worked as a police officer with the City of Greer before beginning work as a deputy in Anderson County in 1997. Appell worked with the Sheriff’s Department for five years until November 2003 when he resigned in order to run for office.

Current Sheriff Gene Taylor “brought the agency out of the dark ages,” according to Appell. Yet Appell would “do more with less” by restructuring work schedules and shift assignments, decreasing administrative positions and increasing deputy manpower with no tax increases.

The manpower coverage in the northeast corner of the county has not kept up with the growth and the tax base, according to Appell. He would put more deputies on the road for quicker response times.

With 20 years of experience in business as well as law enforcement, the 48-year-old Appell describes himself as a “fair but firm, hard-working, detail-oriented” administrator who expects employees to do the best job they can.

Good lines of communication must be established between citizens and the Sheriff’s Office, Appell says. He plans a Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) team as a first step to making the Sheriff’s Department a proactive agency rather than a reactive one. The COPE team would work directly with citizens to assess the needs of the community and research ways to solve problems and lessen concerns.

Appell is also concerned that the issue of criminal domestic violence is not taken seriously in Anderson County which is ranked 8th in the state in number of incidents. The county could take advantage of grant money to address the problem and help reduce occurrences, Appell says.

Appell feels that his experience and education make him “the right man at the right time.”

David L. Crenshaw, former deputy sheriff, law enforcement administrator, and summary court judge seeks election as a Republican for sheriff.

Crenshaw, who currently serves as vice president for Crenshaw Electronics, a family owned and operated business in Pendleton, and as Pendleton Fire Chief began his law enforcement career in 1969 as an officer for the Pendleton Police Department.

Later, he worked 15 years at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office rising through the ranks to become an administrative assistant to the sheriff. As administrative assistant, Crenshaw’s responsibilities included management, planning, budgeting, and acting as liaison to federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Eventually he became a summary court judge before retiring from that position after 28 years of service as a criminal justice practitioner.

If elected, Crenshaw pledges to responsibly manage all of the human and fiscal resources of the Sheriff’s Department, to be accessible and accountable to all Anderson County citizens, to cooperate with all levels of government, and to provide a professional and speedy response to crime.

Crenshaw highlighted current deficiencies in leadership at the Sheriff’s Department that have impeded the efficiency of the agency’s response to burglaries, hindered cooperation with other area law enforcement agencies, and failed to ensure that the public received “a dollar’s worth of service for every tax dollar we spend.”

“Criminals pay no attention to political boundaries. The Sheriff’s Office needs to work hand-in-hand with other enforcement and emergency services as well as the solicitor’s office, the courts, human service agencies and the schools,” Crenshaw commented.

Crenshaw declared that the importance of ensuring that the department continues to be progressive could not be underscored enough. Advanced law enforcement technology used for crime detection and administration should be maintained and enhanced to the highest industry standards and will be a priority in his administration, he said.

Crenshaw’s first priority will be to put as many officers on the street as possible. “Properly trained and equipped police officers with the right attitude are what solve and prevent crime,” he emphasized.

In 1992, Crenshaw ran for sheriff against incumbent Gene Taylor and was defeated by the narrow margin of 401 votes.

A lifelong resident of Anderson County, Crenshaw and his wife Lynn attend the Pendleton United Methodist Church. Lynn Crenshaw works as nursing coordinator for School District Four.

Do area towns have too many employees?

How do area municipalities compare in the number of employees they have?

A review of information provided by the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) lists the number of employees and the population for eight municipalities in Anderson County according to responses received from a survey conducted by the organization in November 2003.

Mary Brantner, communications manager with MASC, is quick to point out that the number of employees is a “moving target” since changes occur constantly within municipalities. However, population figures in the information are taken from the national census and should be exact, Brantner says.

Dividing the population of each town by the number of reported full-time employees reveals that the Town of Pelzer with a population of 97 led the local list with two employees or a ratio of one employee for every 48.5 citizens.

The Town of Williamston reported in second with 65 employees for a population of 3,791 – an average of one employee for every 58.3 citizens.

The City of Anderson with a population of 25,514 and 400 employees came in at third with an average of one employee for every 63.8 citizens.

Coming in fourth on the list was the Town of Pendleton with a population of 2,966 and 40 employees – one employee for every 74.2 citizens.

The neighboring Town of Belton followed closely behind at fifth with a population of 4,461 and 60 employees which amounts to one employee for every 74.4 citizens.

The municipality of Honea Path which staffs 45 employees to serve its population of 3,504 citizens – an average of one employee for every 77.9 citizens – captured sixth place on the county list.

With a population of 1,156, the Town of Iva reported in at seventh with eight employees – one employee for every 144.5 citizens.

Coming in at eighth and last place is the Town of West Pelzer which reported six employees for its population of 879 – one employee for every 146.5 citizens.

Critics have said the Town of Williamston has an excessive number of employees and that personnel cuts are necessary in the face of a rising deficit.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy contends that reducing town employees would mean a reduction in services to residents.

Honea Path Sugarfoot festival Oct. 22, 23

The Sugarfoot Festival will be held in Honea Path this Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23.

Activities include a classic car show, crafts, carnival rides, food, hot air balloon rides, horseshoe and checker tournament, entertainment and many other special acitivities.

A karaoke contest will be held Friday night with a grand prize of $100. Call Joy Hanley at 934-0004 to enter.

Mike Kinsey and staff will present a horse behavioral clinic  Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. For information call Toni Laston at 933-6700.

Other special activities include Jack Roper, who  will bring his magic show and WRIX’s “Pork Chop” will be there with his band, Tugulo Holler.

There is also be a 3k race and 1k walk planned.

Trilogy will headline the all day entertainment appearing on the stage from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Sugarfoot festival is sponsored by the Honea Path Merchants Assocation.

For more information call 369-6516.

Congressman, senator campaign through area

Congressman Gresham Barrett visited the Pelzer-Williamston area Monday in support of Senator Billy O’Dell.

Barrett, who represents 10 counties in the 3rd congressional district, said it has been a pleasure to work with Senator O’Dell , who is up for reelection this year and that the senator has done a great job for this area.

He said O’Dell believes in constituent service.

O’Dell said he has enjoyed working with Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy and having the mayor and the tour group from Williamston visit with him in Columbia.

O’Dell has served 16 years as the area’s senator.

“I have always done well in Williamston area and hope to do well again,” he said.

Clardy said he and O’Dell have good working relations.

House District 9 Representative Michael Thompson also joined the gathering at the Williamston Municipal Center

“There is not a finer young man in Columbia,” Congressman Barrett said, referrring to Thompson.

Thompson, who is facing opposition in the election, said he is dedicated to the people of the district.

Wilson opposes county debt, lack of financial information

District 7 Council member Cindy Wilson continued her lone opposition to county borrowing and expressed her frustration with an inability to receive requested financial information at Anderson County Council Tuesday.

Wilson again presented a request for financial information which she says she has been repeatedly denied even though, according to Wilson, she submitted a personal check to cover the cost of providing the information.

Wilson presented a motion for a third time for County Administrator Joey Preston to “open the books as per the laws of South Carolina.”

Receiving no support from fellow council members, Wilson’s motion died for lack of a second.

Council members Mike Holden and Gracie Floyd both stated that they refused to get involved in the ongoing battle between Wilson and Preston.

The county “cannot deny public officials access to public records,” Wilson stated and expressed a “hope for resolution soon without legal action.”

Wilson presented the only opposing vote to borrowing proposals on several items on the agenda.

Saying that it is “not a great idea to keep borrowing money,” Wilson solely opposed the third reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of up to $7.35 million in general obligation bonds as provided in the budget to support new libraries and other projects.

Wilson was also the only council member opposing the second reading of an ordinance supporting the issue of special service revenue bonds to support infrastructure improvements in the county.

Remaining consistent in her opposition to county spending, Wilson opposed the second reading of an ordinance providing for the sale of $8.2 million in bonds as provided in the budget.

In other business, an announcement by Economic Development Director John Lummus stated that Owens Corning planned to invest $40 million in new equipment and machinery within the next five years at the Anderson plant.

The key objective would be to retain jobs and not to create new jobs, plant officials stated. Taxes owed to the county by the company would be paid once bankruptcy proceedings are completed, officials stated.

The council unanimously supported a resolution for a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement (FILOT) agreement for Owens Corning.

During the time for citizen comments, Dan Harvell of the Anderson County Taxpayers Association expressed his dismay at being “short changed on the agenda” by being scheduled near the end of the agenda and after voting on county borrowing proposals had occurred.

Harvell said the group had presented a written request to be placed near the beginning of the agenda. The planned presentation was subsequently deleted from the agenda when no members of the organization were present during the time scheduled for the presentation.

In other business, a split council vote supported the third reading of an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances in relation to enforcement of the so-called “weed ordinance” proposed by Council member Gracie Floyd to deal with properties that are not maintained and create safety hazards.

Citing concerns about a “blank check” to hire personnel to enforce the ordinance, Wilson cast an opposing vote. Greer cast an opposing vote based on his opposition to language about specific guidelines in the ordinance.

According to Floyd, the ordinance will “give relief to people who desperately need it.”

Greer and Wilson cast the only opposing votes to an ordinance allowing Resource Capital, a commercial development which plans a new mall in the county, to be included in the Industrial/Business Park of Anderson and Greenville Counties.

The council unanimously approved a proposal presented by Holden to exercise an option to extend the county’s contract with MedShore Ambulance Service for two years.

During remarks at the end of the meeting, Greer presented information about resident usage at the Friendship Convenience Center. Documenting that 59 residents in his district use the center, Greer proposed that he would fund his district’s fair share of the $25,000 proposed by Wilson to keep the center open. According to calculations, Greer said this amounted to $3,375

Woodmont High principal arrested on assault charge

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office arrested Randy Reagan, principal at Woodmont High School, on Friday following an investigation into an assault on a student that reportedly occurred on October 7.

The assault took place at Woodmont High School when Reagan allegedly forced a student to the ground after a verbal altercation the victim had with another student. According to reports, the student sustained abrasions and muscle soreness from the assault.

Reagan turned himself in at the Law Enforcement Center where he was arraigned on the charge of Simple Assault and Battery and was allowed to sign a recognizance bond, according to Master Deputy Michael Hildebrand.

Oby Lyles, spokesperson for Greenville County Schools, confirmed that Reagan has been placed on administrative leave with pay as of Monday night after the school system received official notification of the charges by the Sheriff’s Department.

As a standard practice, the school system will conduct a complete review of the facts of the incident separate from the investigation completed by the Sheriff’s Department before taking any further action, Lyles said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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