WHITMIRE — Mayor Billy Hollingsworth of Whitmire announced to council and community members Monday that the Newberry County Board of Education will award the old Whitmire High School and cafeteria buildings to the town, following pending paperwork.
The property is located on Coleman Avenue in Whitmire. Hollingsworth said the deed has not yet been awarded to the town, and an attorney is currently working on the paperwork.
“I think it’s a building we can market and do a lot with,” Hollingsworth said.
Once the deed is awarded to the town, Hollingsworth said he plans to make it a community minded project that best fits Whitmire’s needs as a whole.
Joe Dillard was not present for the town council meeting Monday evening, as basketball has now began in full swing. Together, council chose the date of Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. to hold a recreation meeting to discuss specific needs for the current standing and future of the town’s recreation department.
“We need to be as successful as we can be,” said Hollingsworth. “I think we need to add more programs, but that’s not my decision as mayor. It’s ours as a town.”
Police Cheif Jeremiah Sinclair presented their December report of 49 incidents, and 96 citations for the month. Some of the department’s calls included burglary, financial transaction card fraud, DUI, possession of controlled substance, and simple possession of marijuana.
The town of Whitmire had a beginning balance of $29,818.54, with $35,527.05 in deposits made in the month of December. Expenditures added up to $47,000.88, leaving the remaining balance at $18,344.71.
“Taxes from business licenses will start coming in soon and the budget will begin balancing,” said Hollingsworth.
In old business, council member Cassie Fowler told the group she had contacted Jeff Shacker with the municipal association for rules in changing ordinances to encourage citizens to clean up their properties. Fowler said she was concerned if an accident occurred within the town because of some of the properties that the town would be liable.
In new business:
• Jimmy Dunoway, public works director, is retiring at the end of January. Although he will be entering retirement, Hollingsworth said Dunoway has agreed to help the town until a replacement can be found. Dunoway’s replacement must have a Class C distribution license.
• Hollingsworth said many citizens were confused on when they were to have changed their new 911 addressing. The common misconception is that residents had one year, but that only applies to mail delivery from the post office. Addresses were to be changed 30 days after receiving the new address.
Hollingsworth said they would work to adopt an ordinance to reinforce the new change and it would be worked up for next month’s meeting. The brochure mailed to residents stated how and when to put up the new 911 addresses based on visibility and how far resident’s homes are off of the street.
• Maria Mcmurtury approached council about several events the Economic Development Board has been working on for this year. An overall concern of the board was making the town of Whitmire a clean environment. Mcmurtury asked council to have property lines drawn in front of Subers Cafe so that the group could work on sprucing it up with fencing and plantings.
“We want that area to be appealing for those driving down our main road,” Mcmurtury said.
The property clean up will use money from grants the Economic Development Board is applying for, according to Mcmurtury. No money will be needed from the town.
Mcmurtury and the board also asked for council’s approval to put a banner across Main Street, or either down Highway 72announcing their health wellness walk to be held in April. The funds for the banner will come from their fundraising monies. Council unanimously approved the idea.
• Council approved a veterans parade to be held on July 19 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. down Main Street. Mcmurtury said the group has plans to bring in an antique car show, parade, hold veteran recognitions, a hot dog eating contest, as well as a pie baking contest.
• Other events coming to Whitmire include a father daughter dance Feb. 22 and a 40-mile long yard sale down I-77 toward Chester, with tentative dates set at June 6-7.
• Hollingsworth told council Monday that he met with Ervin West that morning to discuss finalizing the details of the Town Hall Annex before holding an open house. The blinds for the building were recently installed.
Hollingsworth said that recently the men’s restroom had a leak, which didn’t cause much damage. The first year of the building is all under warranty, so there will be no cost to the town for work done.
Two tables need to be replaced in the main building, and two tables in the meeting room are needed. The audio/visual system is still needed, along with a podium.
• Hollingsworth asked council its thoughts on putting a four foot town emblem on the back wall of the building in the main room. There were no objections.
• With the exception of the special recreation meeting Feb. 4, the next Whitmire Town Council meeting will be held Feb. 10.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.