Williston approves solar energy contract

The Williston Town Council approved the town’s participation in a community solar program, swore in a new police officer and made appointments to two boards during its Aug. 14 meeting.

The approval of the community solar program came at the end of the meeting following a brief closed session when the council met with attorney Tom Boulware.

Following a unanimous vote, Boulware issued a press release stating, “The Town of Williston intends to enter into a capacity commitment agreement with CED Development, LLC, a Colorado Limited Liability company, in order to receive an allocation of facility solar output.”

“The Town of Williston will participate in the SCE&G Distributed Resource Program. The subscription rate paid by the Town of Williston will be offset by bill credits given to the town by SCE&G on the town’s monthly utility bill and will result in a substantial economic benefit to the Town of Williston.”

Boulware and Town Administrator Kenny Cook confirmed that the agreement meant that the municipality will receive credits on the government’s power bill for the town hall, police department and other department sources such as the water and sewer wells.

New officer

At the beginning of the meeting William Towne was sworn in as Williston’s newest police officer.

His father, Jamie Towne, held the Bible as Boulware performed the swearing-in oath of office.

Cook told council members, “Officer Towne comes to us fully certified and ready to serve.”

Mayor Jason Stapleton said, “We look for great things from him.”

Boards and commissions

The council voted unanimously to reappoint members to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission.

Reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals were Deborah Knowles and Pete Kulmala.

Reappointed to the Planning Commission were Norman Duncan and Beth Overton.

Park Master Plan

Another vote taken by the council was to approve the firm of Johnson, Laschober & Associates as the town’s consultant to develop the Town Parks Master Plan.

The parks plan is one of Williston’s penny sales tax projects, noted Cook. “The master plan will be a tool that will guide us as we make improvements to our parks. We received $375,000 through the Local Option Sales Tax referendum to be used for this purpose.”

“The parks that will be impacted by this funding are the Rail Trail, Academy Street Park/Museum Library Park (including new property on Academy Street) and Town Park,” he said.

He said the town sent out a request for qualifications (RFQ) and received three back from Hybrid Engineering Inc., The Land Group South and the Johnson firm. The RFQs were reviewed and ranked by a committee and references checked, said Cook.

The council voted unanimously to accept Cook’s recommendation.

Domestic Violence Walk

The council also voted to approve a Domestic Violence Walk to raise awareness on the issue of domestic abuse.

Patricia Dunbar of Ned Missionary Baptist Church submitted the request to use the Rail Trail on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. for the walk. Additionally, purple bows will be placed around the light poles on the walking trail to commemorate those who have been wounded as a result of domestic violence.

Administrator’s report

In his report to council Administrator Cook said he had just that day received the resignation of one of the town’s police officers. While that is challenging, he said, the “good news is that Officer Connie will be graduating from the (law enforcement) academy” so the town will not be as short-handed as it could be.