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Edgefield Town Council addresses noise, policy changes


web posted November 4, 2008
EDGEFIELD – The Edgefield town council held their November meeting Monday evening passing several readings on ordinances and making wording changes to policies and the noise ordinance. Before the readings began Mr. Matt McGinnis, Commander of the American Legion, Post No. 30 in Edgefield and two other members thanked the town council and mayor for their support by providing them each a certificate of appreciation.

Mr. McGinnis said the Post was founding in 1919 and currently has 95 members. Falling on some financial troubles last year the town and the county gifted funds to the Post. After presenting the three veterans stood and saluted the town council members “as show of respect.”

The first order of business was holding a public hearing on the rezoning classification for Edgefield County Tax Map No:  138-00-01-055, located on Augusta Road belonging to Mr. Earnest Long, Jr. from a B-2 to a D-1 zone. After not hearing any comments the hearing was closed and the final reading of the ordinance to rezone the property passed as did the final reading of an ordinance to add wording to the policy and procedure manual that was requested by the town’s insurance carrier.

Two new ordinances received their first readings Monday night, the first to change policy regarding service requirements for Lance Corporal on the Police Department and the second to reword the town’s noise ordinance.  

Edgefield Police Chief Ronnie Carter addressed both items individually stating that the requirement for an officer to serve three years on the Police Department was hindering the department in certain instances. Chief Carter said that he would like to see the police changed to three years of service on any law enforcement agency, thus allowing him to hire a qualified applicant and promote them to corporal after serving out the required probationary period. The council agreed and passed the first reading.

The second item was to alter the noise ordinance by shortening what constitutes a nuisance. Chief Carter said the current ordinance states that a noise audible at fifty feet or produces a noise that is detrimental to the health or life of a citizen. The requested change was to clarify the offense as fifty feet and being detrimental to the life or health of a citizen. “Fifty feet isn’t that far,” Chief Carter said and could be someone just talking loud thus creating a violation.

A second part of the change was to address the section relating to radios or music that could be heard inside of another’s home being a violation. Chief Carter said placing certain times the ordinance could be enforced would be preferred. As written if someone wanted to have a gathering or a child’s birthday party they could be in violation. Thus by setting time limits would allow for reasonable activities, such as a party, to be allowed as long as they ended by 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. The first reading on the changes was passed.

Mayor Durham took time to congratulate Town Clerk Charlotte Cheatham for earning her recognition as a Master Municipal Clerk and said the town should be proud to have such committed employees that continue their education so they can do a better job. Afterwards the mayor asked all in attendance to “give her a hand” in appreciation.

The mayor also announced some upcoming activities such as between 25 and 30 tractors that will be driving to the town square on Saturday morning at 11 am. The square will be closed off to allow the tractors to park and he thought it would be a great time for families to bring their children to see the farm equipment. A similar “drive in” will be held the following Saturday, however; instead of tractors it will be a Corvette Club.

The mayor also touched on a letter to the editor that will be published on Wednesday warning speeders that the town will be cracking down on offenders. On certain days Chief Carter will bring in extra officers to patrol all sections of the town in an effort to slow down those with a heavy foot. The first outing will be handing out warnings, unless excessive speeds are recorded on radar. They will get speeding tickets.

Mayor Durham said the Christmas Parade might move the date from the first Saturday in December in anticipation of Strom Thurmond football team possibly playing in the state championship on that date. A meeting will be held later to set the date and the mayor asked local media to help get the word out when it is decided. 

Sherry Paschal addressed the town council on behalf of the Women in Unity saying that they are going to make a proposal to purchase a larger house on Main Street to accommodate at least forty students for tutoring and mentoring. Ms. Paschal said the group is in the process of working on two grants to help make the purchase and additional programs possible. She said they would be back as the time drew near and may be seeking financial support from the town for a short period of time, depending on when the grants are supplied.

With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
 




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