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Edgefield Town Council Seeks New Fire Truck, Tackles Other Issues

By Anne Waits
web posted June 4, 2014

EDGEFIELD The Edgefield Town Council covered a large number of items in a short period of time at Monday night's regular meeting. Following the adoption of the minutes for May 5, 2014 and adoption of the financial report for May 2014, Council heard a request from Women in Unity to use the Town Gym on Saturday, July 26, 2014 as a rain location for the annual Youth Rally. It was approved unanimously.

Council then approved a request from the National Wild Turkey Federation to hang a banner on the trestle to advertise their Annual Luau on June 19, 2014.

Consideration was given to the second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-02, FY2014-15 Budget and Council voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance.
Council member, Rev. Jasper Lloyd, who had asked at the last meeting to delay his decision another month, accepted the appointment as Mayor Protem.

Under committee reports, the Fire Department Committee reported nine calls and three drills for the month of May.

Mayor Ken Durham reported that they are still working on a grant to help purchase a new fire truck. The cost for a new fire truck has been estimated at $340,000 to $350,000.

"I understand that a grant will cover up to 90 percent of the cost if it is approved, so it would be well worth the wait," said Durham. "I recommend we hold off until September and we should know by then."

Durham said the new truck will be replacing their oldest truck, a 1974 model.
"Our next newest truck is 20 years old," he said. "So, we are well overdue."

Council member Robert Rodgers said he wished to thank the Town of Edgefield, including Council members, citizens and everyone, for their support and kindness during the passing of his wife Julie last week. "It meant a lot to me."
Durham added that Rodgers' stepson also passed.

"That's two losses in one week," the mayor said. "So, let's remember him in prayer."
The mayor reminded Council of a meeting Friday at 10 a.m. at Town Hall. He said he and Town Administrator Roger LeDuc will be there with Michelle McCollough from the S.C. National Heritage Corridor to discuss some of the signage around town.

The mayor also said he, John Pettigrew and Brandon Clary (ECH CEO) are on a sub-committee for Economic Development, and that recently they had been focusing on the Merriwether section.

"We will begin focusing next on Edgefield," he said. "The lady from USC-Aiken with the Small Business Association has agreed to come and look around and tell us what she thinks and what we need to focus on from the business end."

The mayor said people will see a letter from him in the local paper announcing that there will be an increase in safety check points in the town of Edgefield next week. He also announced the Highway 23 Yard Sale this Saturday.

In closing comments, a citizen inquired about the Farmer's Market sign and why it was down.

Carolyn Piekielniak spoke up and said, "I can answer that. The market people paid $180 for a flag purchased from the Turkey Federation and there were some heavy winds that tore it up. I bought one out of my pocket made of vinyl and it will be up tomorrow."

The citizen also commented on the Memorial Day service.

"It was a nice service for service people past and present, but I was concerned about the traffic. It was so noisy and disruptive. Is there some way the can shut off traffic for the next one?"

The mayor said it could be done, but someone would have to write a letter to SCDOT a couple of months ahead of time. She also inquired if the the sign at the welcome center in town cold be painted and the mayor said he hoped that would be taken care of at Friday's meeting. She also inquired about who would be responsible for getting signs on Highway 25 near the Pine House about the restaurants on that side of town (in Edgefield) and she was told the Highway Department has right-of-way there.

Lloyd said he would like to mention something, "In reference to the book, my picture appeared in the paper. I agreed to about a 45 or 50 minute interview and only about five seconds got put in the paper. Most of what I said got left out."

He said that was okay, however. "I have one philosophy of life and if you don't bother my wife or my money or my life, I can live with it."

The mayor said all in all, he thought it was a good article about Edgefield. It was about voting rights and riots in the 60s and 70s. Lloyd said he was in New Jersey in the 1970s and they couldn't get out because of the riots. They didn't have anything that bad happening in Edgefield, he said.

Lawyer Randy Williams said he thought it was important because the article made it appear that bad things didn't happen in Edgefield and he knew that wasn't true because of personal experiences. "It's not about putting Edgefield in a negative light, but about putting the true light," he said.

The mayor said he was only about nine years old at the time and he couldn't speak for what he didn't remember. They asked him if he saw any violence and he said he didn't see any.

Williams said he was pretty sure Lloyd has about 20 more years on him than the mayor and he didn't know what Lloyd said but it should have been brought to light because it was important whatever it was. "I'm sure he knew some things," he said. "But that is history and Edgefield County will have that history for the rest of their lives."

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