Blackville town council votes to close establishment

Blackville Town Council and Mayor Jackie Holman made a motion to temporarily close an establishment, Washington's Party Shop, at the end of the month, until the town gets some clarification from the state as to what type of establishment can be at that location.

These are two separate establishments in the same building, said Police Chief John Holston.

The owner has a license to sell alocoholic beverages on one side of the establishment - the ABC store- and a license for on-premises consumption of beer and wine, under 12 percent alcohol, for the other side of the estblishment, Holston said.

Town clerk Inell Waring confirmed one town business license had been issued for this location, Washington's Party Shop.

Holston said his department has two ordinances in which determines the time to close these kind of establishments.

The first ordiance states establishments operating music equipment can not operate after midnight, any day of the week, Holston said.

The second ordiance states establishments operating pool tables can not operate after midnight either, he said.

"We as a community have to come together and take back our community," Councilman Harry Felder said.

Felder said he wanted to get rid of the reputation the "hill" area has gotten.

Council approved the motion to close Washington's ABC store and party shop at the end of the month.

In other council news:
• Catherine Mack of Blackville spoke to council during the public comment section asking council, Mayor Holman, the police department and residents to band together and clean up the Blackville cemetery.
The cemetery is located on S.C. 3.
Mayor Holman informed Mack that although the cemetery carried Blackville's name, it was privately owned.
Holman said he last knew Goldie Augustus owned the property but Augustus was no longer a resident of Blackville.
Harriet McKnight, the town clerk, later said she thought Augustus' son now owned the property but he does not live in the area either.
It was also discussed that a community group used to clean up at the cemetary but that service has been discontinued.
Mayor Holman said he would try to contact the property owner and see what could be worked out for the maintenance as well as contact some of the community members who once maintained the cemetary.
• Ethel Faust, the director of the Barnwell County First Steps gave an update of her agency to council.
• Chief Holston gave an update on his department.
Holston said although his department currently had one vacancy that he would not be filling at the present time.
Holston told council two arrests had been made in reference to the fatal shooting in January.
Tyrell Damon Odoms and LaParis S. Flowers were arrested on murder charges by South Carolina Law Enforcement agents.
Councilman Russ Reed questioned Holston in reference to a tractor trailer unit parked alongside the street.
"This is the only driver we've had problems with," Holston said.
Recently, Blackville Town Council adopted an ordinance which prohibits the parking of tractor trailers on the streets inside the town.
Mayor Holman told Holston additional measures may have to be taken if officers can not speak with this driver.