News Archive

(4804) Week of Dec. 1, 2004

Council to look at credit card, vehicle policy
Capital expenditures needed to keep county water flowing
School District One in good financial shape auditor says
Williamston parade to follow new route
Middleton applies for pardon
Local man victim of armed robbery


Council to look at credit card, vehicle policy

During a work session meeting held Nov. 22, Williamston Town Council unanimously agreed to a motion made by councilman Cecil Cothran to limit the use of the mayor’s vehicle and a town credit card and requiring the mayor to present a written statement of policy and procedures for both and for other town vehicles.

Cothran’s motion is the first to officially address the use of a credit card and vehicles which have been the subject of concerns for some councilmen and citizens during Clardy’s first term as mayor.

The credit card is used by the mayor to pay for an average of three or more meals per month and other expenses such as out of town meetings attended by the mayor and/or council.

The meals, usually in restaurants in Anderson or Greenville such as California Dreaming or Ryans, are often associated with town related meetings or business, the mayor has said.

The credit card is also used for motel reservations for councilmen attending meetings such as the Municipal Association meeting in Hilton Head or for expenses related to a trip made by the mayor and police chief to Washington, D. C. in May.  It is also used for various other expenses statements show.

Cothran’s motion stated, “the car be used for official town meetings” and that a log on mileage be kept.

 He also stated that the credit card be used only for official town business and that council be given a copy of the statement each month.

Clardy responded that there should be guidelines for “all town vehicles.”

After approving the motion 5-0, Clardy stated that the request was for the mayor to present a written statement of policy and procedures for the car, credit card and all town departments and vehicles.

First reading on the 2005 budget was postponed to the December 6 meeting of Council.

There was no mention of borrowing or cuts to be made during the special work session meeting.

Clardy did say he would have a budget ready for council to look at by the next meeting.

During public comments, Ken Marshall said he hoped “we get back to the business of the city” and suggested Clardy inform the public during the meetings of progress on projects such as the sidewalks and soccer fields and water tower.

Clardy said there were no minutes to approve from the budget work sessions because they are not required to keep minutes.

Clardy said that the budget process was delayed while department heads were getting information and prices on equipment and other items.

He said Council will look at the budget at the Dec. 6 meeting when the supervisors have all information together. Council unanimously approved a MASC business tax ordinance which provides definitions and expanded coverage on new items as required by State Law, attorney Richard Thompson said.

Council also approved a resolution providing water billing by the ACJMWS to be based on the actual gallons pumped rather than a peak allotment.

Christmas Parade organizer Walt Smith told Council  the Williamston parade will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 11.

Council then went into an executive session to discuss a personnel matter.

Capital expenditures needed to keep county water flowing

Members of the Anderson Regional Joint Water System, the upstate’s largest partnership of water suppliers, are investing more than $36 million to ensure a reliable, safe flow of water to the homes, businesses, and industries in the area.

Planned projects include improvements to water storage tanks, transmission mains, distribution lines, radio read meter systems, computer controls, heavy equipment, and customer service facilities. 

Regulatory requirements and the involuntary relocation of water lines due to highway widening projects have been the cause for several of the projects.

 “While our utilities support the goals of these types of projects, there is a significant cost to water providers,” said Kent Guthrie, administrative manager of the ARJ Water System.

Members of the ARJ Water System include Big Creek - Hammond Water District, The Town of Williamston, Powdersville Water District, the City of Anderson, Belton-Honea Path Water Authority, Broadway Water District, City of Clemson, Town of Central, Homeland Park Water District, Sandy Springs Water District, Starr-Iva Water District, Town of Pendleton, and the West Anderson Water District.

The water providers joined to form the Anderson Regional Joint Water System in 2002. The ARJWS is the operator of the water treatment plant located on Lake Hartwell that wholesales treated water to the member utilities.

Projects planned in the area include:

Big Creek Water District plans to replace a water main on Cherokee Rd. and a water main on Big Woods Circle. They also plan to install water mains on Hammond Rd. and Mize Rd., Copeland Rd. and Wesley Ellison Rd., Mill St. Ext.,  Stegall Rd, Hwy. 20, and on Patterson Rd.

Other improvements include installing radio read meter system, remodeling office, adding a new board room and building a new shop. They also plan to install a new computer system in the office, purchase a new backhoe and dump truck and install a new SCADA system. Total estimated cost of improvements for Big Creek is $1,067,000.

Hammond Water District plans to replace water mains on Simpson Rd., Hopewell Rd to Hwy. 29, Kings Rd. bridge, Old Williamston Rd., Scott’s Bridge Rd., and Van Martin Rd. They also plan to relocate and increase the size of a water main on Hwy. 81 from Crestview Rd.

A pump will be installed at ARJWS pump station. Total estimated cost of improvements for Hammond Water District is $1,619,000.

Improvements made in the Powdersville Water District since 2000 have totaled approximately $4 million.

Improvements include adding 30,455 feet of 18” line with the Greenville Water System, 34,475 feet of 12” replacement line with the ARJWS, a Piercetown pumping station, relocation of water lines along Hwy. 81, SCADA upgrade, start of an automatic meter reading system with 3,500 meters converted, a new one million gallon water storage tank in the Wren School area and office computer upgrade.

There were no improvement projects planned for The Town of Williamston.

Other improvements are planned for each of the remaining water system members. Estimated total cost for improvements across the system is $4,851,118.

 “All of these projects by the individual providers were value-engineered,”  Guthrie explained.  “That is, the provider determined the best combination of materials, methods, and intended functions in terms of what would produce the greatest results for the dollar invested.  The ARJWater utilities strive to balance cost versus 100 percent reliable service.  Often the answer is a compromise.”

Guthrie further emphasized, “Many consumers take water service for granted until there is a problem.  Keeping rates as low as possible for the consumer is always the goal, as well as making critical infrastructure available for economic development.  This means our members are constantly striving to finance their capital improvements as cost effectively as possible to lessen the impact on all rate payers.”

Financing for the projects has come from a combination of grants, low-interest loans from the S.C. State Revolving Loan Fund, USDA Rural Development, and user fees.

School District One in good financial shape auditor says

During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One board members heard a positive year end audit report and elected and appointed officers and other positions for 2005.

Beginning the meeting, Superintendant Dr. Wayne Fowler introduced new board member Tom Merritt.

The board then unanimously elected Fred Alexander chairman, Nancy Upton vice-chair and Joe Pack secretary for 2005 .

Pack was also reappointed to the alternative school board and he and Upton were reappointed to serve on the Career and Technology Center Board of Trustees.

Auditor Larry Finney, of Greene, Finney & Horton, LLP, told the board that the District, and especially the accounting department under Finance Director Steve Uldrick, is doing an “excellant job” with the district finances.

The school district received an unqualified opinion stating the balances and amounts in the financial statements are materially correct.

“This is as good as you can get,” Finney told the board.

Finney praised the District for being able to increase the fund balance by approximately $2 million while having to deal with significant state cuts.

The fund balance increased to $3.7 million.

“We are back to where we were several years ago,” Finney said.

Finney said Uldrick did a great job to get by without borrowing a (tax anticipation note) TAN. “He is doing a great job on that end,” he said.

The school district receives 95 to 98 percent of the property tax revenues by June. Finney said the main reason a fund balance is needed is to get through the rest of the year.

If borrowing is necessary, “A healthy fund balance will save interest costs,” he said.

Finney said that revenues had increased by 9 percent, or approximately $3 million, mainly because of better collection and growth.

He also said that expenditures had increased by 3.5 percent, or $1.2 million, most on construction.

The management letter presented along with the audit includes four recommendations for the District.

The letter suggests balance sheet accounts should be analyzed, reviewed and adjusted on a regular basis and investment procedures should require two written approvals and be reconciled on a timely basis.

Other recommendations include discontinuing a practice at several schools of having only one check signer, usually a principal, and leaving pre-signed checks for school expenses to be paid when the principal is away.

Dr. Fowler said that the District has already addressed most of the concerns.

“As a result of the auditors’ advice over the years, we have begun to make those adjustments so we don’t have a situation,” Fowler said.

Dr. John Pruitt reported to the board that the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) testing results in the district are higher than state results.

The testing includes English Language Arts and Mathematics and replaces the BSAP test for state curriculum standards and exit exam.

“We thought it would be very tough,” Priutt said. “We thought the district score may drop. Actually that has not occurred.”

Pruitt said that ninety-two percent of the 10th graders taking the English Language Arts test met the standard compared to eighty-five percent statewide.

In mathmatics, eighty-eight percent of Anderson One students met the standard compared to eighty percent statewide.

Pruitt said the real measure is having all students pass both tests. Eighty-six percent of the students passed the test on the first attempt, he said, compared to seventy-six percent statewide.

“We have far exceeded the state and the district ranks in the top 5 percent,” he said.

Reporting on the nutrition program, Dr. Fowler said the program had a record breaking October, serving 6,100 more meals than last year.

The additional revenue generated from the program will allow older equipment to be replaced, he said.

“The program is self supporting now,” Fowler said. “It pays indirect costs and approximately $93,000 back to the district.”

Updating the board on the building program, Fowler said the heat should be turned on in the Palmetto Freshman Academy this week, allowing flooring to be put down. He said painting still needs to be finished.

Fowler said the project is still on schedule and he expects to be using the building in January, with items being moved into the academic classrooms December 28.

He said the gym portion will be later due to the floor not being ready. He said he expects it to be in use by the third week of January, in time for wrestling and other spring sports.

The board accepted the resignation of member Steve Garrison, who was elected to serve on the County Board of Education.

Board Chairman Fred Alexander presented Garrison with a plaque recognizing his service to the District from 1998 to 2004.

Board members unanimously approved Garrison’s recommendation to appoint former board member Sallie Lee to fill his remaining two year term.

The appointment will have to be approved by the County School Board, Alexander said.

Upon the recommendation of Dr. Fowler, the board approved the following personnel requests:

Leave of absence - Pat Bobbitt, Powdersville Elementary Science, three week medical leave; Shelley McDade, Cedar Grove Elementary, Grade 2, six week maternity leave.

Resignations - Debbie Cox, Hunt Meadows Elementary, LD teacher; Nathalie Smith, District Psychologist.

Retirement - Bonnie Buzhardt, Pelzer Elementary, Grade 2.

Transfer - Coral Arant, Pelzer Elementary, Media Center Specialist (.5FTE) from .5 FTE Media Center Specialist to 1.0 FTE second grade teacher at Pelzer Elementary; Ramona Bowers, from Palmetto Elementary first grade teacher to District Information Software Manager.

Recommendations - Brenda Collins, Pelzer Elementary, Media Center Specialist (.5FTE); JoEarle Roach, Hunt Meadows elementary, LD Teacher.

The board will not meet in December. The next meeting will be held January 4, 2005.

Williamston parade to follow new route

The Williamston Christmas Parade, scheduled for 3 p.m. December 11, will be extended to include a portion of Greenville Dr. this year, organizers said.

The new parade route will start at School St. and Greenville Dr. in front of ERS Video Radio Shack and will end at Hill Ave. and West Main according to organizer Walt Smith.

Registration will be held at the ballfield located behind Town Square Center (at the corner of Simpson and Austin St.) Entries will line up around Simpson  St. to Heritage Drive to North Hamilton and onto School St.

 Bands and ROTC units should line up at Caroline Community Center on School St., Smith said.

Registration forms for the Williamston Christmas parade are available at the Williamston Municipal Center.

Interested participants can call Town Hall at 847-7473 and give a name and type of entry for judging. Deadline for entries to be judged will be Thursday, Dec. 9.

Judges will be located in front of the Municipal Center. Entries to be judged should show their numbers there organizers said.

For dance groups, performances should be no longer than three minutes. All horses will stay in the rear and should report to the ballfield. Rules and other information will be given when registering at the Municipal Center.

Trophies will be given out immediately following the parade.

The theme will be “Keep Christ in Christmas.” Smith said there is no fee to enter the parade. “Just bring plenty of candy,” he said.

Anyone interested in helping with this year’s parade can call Smith at 847-7929. For more information, call (864) 847-7473.

Middleton applies for pardon

Marion Middleton, Sr., has again applied with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Service for a pardon.

Middleton, 75, will be considered for pardon on January 5, 2005 at 2 p.m. at the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, 221 Devine Street, Columbia, according to information sent to the Town of Williamston.

Middleton was unanimously turned down by the board on his first request in 2003. He needed the vote of four of the seven members to be pardoned.

Middleton submitted the first application for pardon in November 2002, Just three months after he pled guilty to embezzling $76,000 from the Town of Williamston during his term as mayor. He served 46 days of a 90 day sentence, receiving early release due to a work-credit program.

Persons requesting a pardon must complete an application, submit three letters of reference, and pay a $50 application fee.

Under state requirements, Middleton could apply for a pardon once his sentence was served and full restitution was made. Under the terms of sentencing, Middleton’s probation ended upon payment of the restitution.

The Town of Williamston received a restitution payment of $76,000 in 2003, prior to the first pardon request.

According to state law, a person receiving a pardon is “fully forgiven from all the legal consequences of his crime and his conviction.” Persons pardoned may register to vote and vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, and be licensed for any occupation requiring a license.

Letters may be written to the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, P.O. Box 50666, Columbia, S.C. 29250.

Local man victim of armed robbery

A Piedmont man reported being robbed at gunpoint outside a local convenience store on November 14. James John Cioflao, 57, 500 Iler St., Piedmont, reported that an unknown black male approached him and grabbed him around the throat when he was at the gas pumps at a convenience store on Frontage Road early Sunday morning.

According to reports, the suspect stuck a hard object in Cioflao’s back and demanded that he give him all his money.

When Cioflao told the man that he had no money, the suspect reportedly struck Cioflao in the right eye with a revolver. Cioflao said that he fell to the ground after being struck, and the suspect stole a wallet containing $3,800.

The suspect got into a gray older model Buick and fled, reports stated.

Nov. 24 - Michael Gustafson, 49, 138 Pine Circle, Pelzer, reported 90 tablets of a prescription medication stolen from his mailbox. L. B. Culbertson investigated.

Nov. 29 - C&B Tax Service, 182 Garrett Rd., Pezer, reported 3 gas loaded staple guns valued a $2,100, a Stihl weed eater valued at $330 and an impact wrench valued at $250 taken from the business. Entry was gained through a front window. J. A Burdette investigated.

Nov. 29 - Jeffrey Neal Pryor, 22,  179 Garrett Rd., Pelzer, reported a 1994 Saturn valued at $1,000 stolen from the residence. Assorted tools valued at $400 and a Desert Eagle handgun valued at $400 were also in the vehicle. B. W. Parker investigated.

Nov. 27 - Matthew Wilson, 48, 235 River Falls Rd., Pickens, reported golf clubs valued at $1,200, a purse valued at $100 and $400 in cash taken from a 1999 Lexus parked at the Huddle House, 112 Halter Dr., Piedmont. F.Wooten investigated.

Nov. 23 - Fred’s , 908 Anderson St., Piedmont, reported a shoplifting incident in which Shatoka Clovanda Brumfield, 18, 125 Smith Dr., Pelzer, was arrested for shoplifting items valued at $6. R. S. Turner investigated.

Nov. 23 - Lauren Elizabeth Spragens, 41, 9 West Park Dr., Williamston, reported a 2000 Nissan Sentra valued at $8,000 missing from the residence. B. W. Parker investigated.

Nov. 23 - Mike Mitchell, 226 Roberts Rd., Williamston, reported a Honda XRO motorcycle valued at $1,500 taken from the porch of the residence. B. K. Fowler investigated.

Nov. 24 - Tom Papadopulos, Checker Flag Motors, 1023 Beaverdam Rd., Williasmton, reported a faceplate and remote to a Kenwood compact disc player valued at $100 taken from a 1983 Mercedes. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Nov. 24 - Dollar General #4531, 3516 Hwy. 153 Piedmont, reported a shoplifting incident in which two pair packs of socks valued at $12 were taken from the store. J. T. Owens investigated.

Nov. 24 - Kenneth Wilton Bagwell, 124 Freeman Dr., Piedmont, reported a 2001 Flatbed Ford truck valued at $30,000 taken from Yeargin Misc. Metals, 130 Old School House Rd., Piedmont. A gate valued at $2,000 was also damaged, apparently by the vehicle running over it. M. D. Campbell investigated.

Nov. 24 - Joe Clevenger, 63, 115 McClennion Dr., Pelzer, reported forced entry into the residence causing $200 in damage to a window. K. Fowler investigated.

Nov. 25 - Michelle Pawlus, 36, 112 2 Elkowa Rd., Easley, reported jewelry valued at $1,700 missing. F. Wooten investigated.

Nov. 25 - Joshua Marc Coley, 31, 604 Garren Rd., Belton, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry into an enclosed place after he was observed inside Duke Power Lee Steam Plant. Workers found Coley inside the tool room. T. B. Dugan, B. J. Conrad investigated.

Nov. 27 - Super 8 Motel, 3104 Hwy. 153, Piedmont, reported a jar containing $8 in change for cancer victims was taken from the front counter. B. W. Parker investigated.

Nov. 27 - Teresa C. Anderson, 1 Maple Ct., Piedmont, reported items valued at $2,138 taken from the residence. D. M. Patten investigated.

Nov. 27 - Gary Haltiwanger, 111 Christi Lane, Piedmont reported tools valued at $800 taken from a shed at 208 Longview Dr., Piedmont. Forced entry to the shed was gained by breaking a hasp. J. E. Johnson investigated.

Nov. 27 - Brenda Sue Baker, 123 Eula St., Liberty, was arrested for shoplifting after being observed placing items valued at $22 into her purse at Bi-Lo, 3518 Earle E. Morris Jr., Hwy, Piedmont.

Nov. 29 - Property valued at $2,780 and $2,540 was taken from two storage buildings at River Rd. Mini Storage, 2531 River Rd., Piedmont. M. D. Campbell investigated.

Nov. 13 – Dale Coley Cleveland, 44, 135 Homestead Rd., Easley, reported that someone stole a white 1986 Pontiac Parisienne valued at $1,800 which was parked in the parking lot of Piedmont Auto Parts and advertised for sale. A. Digirolamo investigated.

Nov. 13 – Johnny Maheirs Swinger, 43, 512 Marlene Ave., Piedmont, reported that someone stole two Andis hair clippers valued at $100 out of his vehicle while he was in Kentucky Fried Chicken on Hwy. 153. R. S. Turner investigated.

Nov. 13 – Herb Flavell, 62, 107 Autumn Dr., Williamston, reported that someone took a handgun valued at $30 from his residence. J. E. Johnson investigated.

Nov. 12 – John Albert Campbell, 91, 111 Mahaffey Rd., Williamston, reported that someone cut a chain and took a John Deere Gator valued at $5,300. J. M. Durham investigated.

Nov. 11 – Kevin Lee Brown, 33, 210 Sweet Gum Circle, Williamston, reported that someone took a 6 x 12 utility trailer valued at $1,200 from his back yard. M. D. Campbell investigated.

Nov. 10 – Allen L. Sarra, 42, 122 Sylvan Court, Easley, reported that someone forced entry into a vacant residence at 208 Seigler Road in Pelzer. An inventory of missing items is pending. C. H. Beusse investigated.

Nov. 10 – Steven Baesam Cameron, 24, 413 Roe Rd., Greenville, reported that a 1989 Honda XR100 dirt bike valued at $500 and parked at 428 Roe Road was missing. R. S. Turner investigated.

Nov. 10 – Jason A. Lansford, 33, 107 Wren Field Court, Piedmont, reported that someone went into his vehicle and removed a bank deposit containing $4,489 in checks and cash. F. Wooten investigated.

Nov. 8 – Road Runner Auto Sales, 3430 Hwy. 153, Piedmont, reported that someone took tools, a Pioneer stereo and airbags, and a Sony stereo valued at $2,240. J. M. Durham investigated.

Nov. 8 – Tate Steel, 613 Hurricane Creek Road, Piedmont, reported that someone broke a master lock and forced entry into a fence, a 1999 Toyota truck, a building belonging to TL Steel Erectors, a 1991 Mack truck, and a 1995 Fleetwood camper. Reported missing were tools valued at $3,000 and a white 1999 GMC truck. A full inventory of missing items is pending. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Nov. 5 – J R Construction, 16 Glenwood Ave., Williamston, reported that someone stole tools and materials valued at $1,720 from a construction site at 103 Tall Ship Drive in Anderson. J. C. Wright investigated.

Nov. 4 – Malcolm Andrew Kidd, 22, 1337 Whiten Road, Belton, reported that someone took a black 2004 Easy Ride 18’ car hauler trailer valued at $6,200 from a fenced back yard. B. Coker investigated.

Nov. 3 – Herb Flavell, 62, 107 Autumn Dr., Williamston, reported that someone forced entry into a 2002 Ford Explorer, attempted to steal the vehicle, and caused $1,500 in damages to the steering column. C. McBride investigated.







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