Williston approves fees for parks master plan

The parks master plan, a grant to purchase police body cameras, disaster preparedness and the schedule for Halloween Trick or Treating were among the topics reviewed by the Williston Town Council on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The council approved the Halloween schedule for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Also approved was the fee schedule for the Parks Master Plan.

In August the council approved the firm of Johnson, Laschober and Associates to create a master plan.

Town Administrator Kenny Cook said the fees proposed include $7,200 for the town park, $11,700 for the Library Park and new Academy Street Park across the street from each other, and $3,600 for the Rail Trail for a total of $22,500.

“Before they get into it in depth, they would like to have a planning session with you all,” said Cook.

The council agreed to work on a schedule to meet with the firm.

Cook said the firm “has done a number of projects around the state” and those communities have been “very pleased” with their work.

Councilman Dwayne Cagle asked what had been allocated by the local option sales tax which Mayor Jason Stapleton said was $375,000.

Cook said the county has issued a bond in advance of tax revenues and Williston’s share is somewhere around $900,000. “Since there is adequate money for the backhoe and this project, we can go ahead with the third project, which is the water line improvement,” he said.

Stapleton said the county can approve additional funds but they are waiting to make sure what the revenues are.

Body cameras

In Kenny Cook’s report, he said the town has been approved for $1,491 police grant from the Municipal Association to purchase body cameras. “The solicitor’s office informed us that we needed to do that because the ones we have do not meet the standards for security.”

He said, “Because we are a member of the Municipal Association, we were eligible for this grant. Half of the body cams we just purchased will be paid for by this grant.”

Cook also announced the hiring of two new officers and one employee in public works.

He said one officer is starting the S.C. Law Enforcement Academy and congratulated Officer Johnson for just completing the academy. “She is fully certified and on the job,” said Cook. “We are pleased she did well at the academy.”

Disaster preparedness

Mayor Stapleton during his report to council praised town employees for their work preparing for Hurricane Irma.

He said there was a lot of preparation that went on in all departments.

“We were prepared as best as we could,” said Stapleton. “We were fortunate that there was not a lot of damage except for some trash. The biggest thing in a storm for us is keeping our lift stations running and wells running so people can have water and making sure it was safe,” said Stapleton.

He also thanked Roger Riley for keeping the town informed and all the linesmen who worked through the storm.

One councilman said the council may want to consider having a place for utility folks to go to. He said he heard of issues in Florida where utility crews came off lines late but restaurants starting to close would not serve them.

No action was taken on the suggstion

Other business

In other business the council asked for updates on water leaks in the systems and the status of the detour off U.S. Highway 278.

Administrator Cook said a number of leaks had been caused as the town worked to repair and resume use of the Shuler Street well. He said it is a “delicate dance” to reroute water flow and adjust pressure on town’s aging water lines.

With regards to the detour, he said the project is held up due to some “legal hoops” between the state and a property owner over land needed for the project.