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Edgefield Town Council Addresses Broad Range of Agenda Items

By Anne Waits
web posted March 6, 2014

EDGEFIELD Following the adoption of the Feb. 3, 2014 minutes and the adoption of the financial report for February 2014, Edgefield Town Council heard from Beth Thornton on Monday night regarding the Pottery Tour coming to Greenwood and Edgefield the first weekend in May. The tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Brochures will be availabe closer to the date, but locations in Edgefield include the Old Edgefield Pottery (also firing the Groundhog Kiln); P.K. Pottery on Peach Orchard Road; and Mrs. Thornton's pottery called Turtle Rock on Meeting Street Road. The event is expected to bring in more than 300 people, Council voted to donate $800 to the Pottery Guild for advertising for the event by radio, newspapers, banners and online.

"We need to get the Merchant's Association involved," said Mayor Ken Durham. "Make sure the stores will be open. This will bring a lot of people to town."

Mrs. Thornton also announced that she and her husband George have purchased the Super 10 store and the Purple Fence (the old Israel Mukashy building), and she has big plans for the Super 10 store. She plans to have a pottery studio there and pottery classes will also be available.

Council then heard from Carolyn Piekielniak who led a discussion on Oakley Park and Heritage Jubilee events. She said based on what she has learned from visiting other towns recently and the last festival she was involved in, the Boll Weevil Festival in 1968, other towns limit the number of their vendors and food vendors. She said vendors want to know if they can come and set up on Friday night and last year she said someone had told a lady she could and when she got there, she couldn't.

"We don't want these situations happening," she said. "We need a permanent location whether it is downtown or Oakley Park or the Old Mill. We need continuity with the towns around us.We don't need to plan it when they have something going on, and we need to plan it when everyone has money (the first of the month)."

"The last one I was involved in planning was the Boll Weevil Festival," she said. "We had 120 vendors and it lasted two days. We raised over $7,000." The next thing you have to do is advertise, she said, and you've got to have money to do it."You've also got to have enough people working and you've got to have a committee. Two or three people can't do it."

She said one thing she has observed in other little towns is they have picnic tables out under the trees where families can come and have lunch.

Durham asked if Oakley Park would be willing to have picnic tables for such and she said, "Of course." She said she was sure they could get the lumber from somewhere to do it.

Durham said he had received a letter from Joel Jolly that he would not be doing the Barbecue Cook-Off this year and Sonny Seawright is not interested in taking it on.
"So, we have to get someone to do it," he said. "As you know, the town is not in the business of putting on a festival. We look to volunteers to put it on. Sonny and his committee, from what I understand, are looking to expand the festival down past Piedmont Tech this year."

Asked which location she thought was the most successful, Piekielniak said she thought the ones at Oakley Park raised the most money.

The mayor said he had heard good and bad things about both locations.
In other business, the Town honored a request from Edgefield Baseball League to pay one-half of the expense (about $6,200) to rebuild the fields to comply with the Association.

"This has to be done," said Council member John Ellis. Edgefield County is also to pay one-half.

Also, Council approved a request from Edgefield County Veterans Affairs Office to: place crosses on the Square from Wednesday, May 21, though Wednesday, May 28, 2014 for Memorial Day; to host a Memorial Day program on the Square on Monday morning May 26; and to host a Veteran's Day program on the Square on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

In still further business, Council approved on second reading the adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-01, an Ordinance adopting and enacting a new code for the Town of Edgefield, South Carolina, providing for the repeal of certain ordinances not included therein; providing a penalty for the violation thereof; providing for the manner of amending such code; and providing when such code and this ordinance shall become effective.

In Committee Reports, Council member Herbert Yarborough stated there were 19 fire calls and three drills in the month of January. He stated the electric companies did a wonderful job in getting power restored.

In the Mayor's Report, he stated that many had asked and that what they did to prepare for the ice storm was put on Facebook and the Website that Town Hall and the Town Gym would be open as a welcome center for those who had nowhere to go. However, he doesn't ever remember when both sides of town were without power. What he and the policemen and firemen did was go to the senior apartments and get elderly people out of their cars and apartments and take them to the hospital

"We probably took 20 people there," he said. "The hospital fed them and kept them warm." The second night, he said, they opened up the County Council Chambers, which ran on a generator. "We need to get a generator and consider a heating and cooling station," he said. "We prepared at the last minute. Our first and second plan failed. So we had to go to the third."

The mayor also announced that the Town website is updating and keeping up with current events.

He further stated that the Town is working with the State in trying to contract regarding the limbs on the side of the streets.

"We've made good progress," he said "They'll get them. It may be two or three months."

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