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Elgin Town Council recognizes VFW post 11079 and the EPD for service to the community

Also, discussion continues on hen ordinance, Elgin museum

Posted: May 9, 2015 2:36 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

President of the Blaney-Elgin Museum and Historical Society Shirley Miles presented a history of Elgin at last Tuesday’s Elgin Town Council meeting.

Elgin Town Council presented two recognitions at Tuesday night’s meeting. The first was the Mayor’s Award to VFW Post 11079.

“On behalf of the town, we would like to present to VFW Post 11079 the Mayor’s Award.  We recognize you for outstanding loyalty, service and dedication to the town of Elgin,” Mayor Mellissa Emmons said. 

The second recognition was for the Elgin Police Department in honor of Police Officers Memorial Day. Emmons presented Elgin Police Chief and his officers with a proclamation. 

“This community is fortunate to have a group of individuals who work tirelessly and effortlessly, not only to serve and protect but to do anything and everything.  This is in honor of Police Officers Memorial Day on May 15,” Emmons said. “I call upon all citizens to observe Friday May the 15 as Police Officers Memorial Day and honor the police officers who, through their courageous deeds, have lost their lives.”

Under new business, council continued looking at an amendment to allow hens in Elgin’s town limits. A public meeting is scheduled for May 18 at 6 p.m. at town hall to further discuss specifics of the proposal. Elgin Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman Jim Crosby informed council the committee voted to endorse the new amendment and provided recommendations.

“We have some recommendations for council to consider. First, we would suggest capping the number of hens to 6 or less considering some of the lot sizes and circumstances of where people live. Second is that hens would be kept in an enclosure of some kind and not live in a free range arrangement,” Crosby said. “Another suggestion we have is that people who are interested in having hens apply for a one-time nominal fee of $5.  The applicant must have some sort of rendering of the enclosure; it doesn’t have to be architectural as far as scale but just some sort of schematic to show how the enclosure would look.”

Crosby also said any structure more than 200 square feet would require a building permit, and council would have to look at covenants and home owners association agreements to determine if this ordinance would supercede the proposed amendment. 

Council passed the motion to proceed with the amendment.

Also during new business, Shirley Miles of the Blaney-Elgin Museum and Historical Society presented building plans for a proposed museum and requested council permit the society to demolish a building on the proposed site. Miles also presented a history of Elgin and stressed the importance of preserving that history.

“(In 2007,) I went to the Archives in Camden and asked for history for Blaney and there was only one sheet of paper. I said ‘Oh my goodness, how are we going to find our history?’ I started asking older citizens for information they had on the history of Blaney. That gave us more incentive for preserving the history of our town,” Miles said. “We have 31 members who are dedicated citizens striving to establish a museum for this community. If we don’t preserve what we have now and what we know it could be lost forever, and that’s a shame.”

The society, which has received nonprofit status, set several goals in 2007 to accomplish for the town of Elgin. 

“We reached all those goals except one and that was establishing a museum for our town. We purchased the town clock; put up a mural on the oldest building in town; and sold bricks to place in front of town hall in memory of loved ones. We had a wonderful celebration for our 100th birthday, but we did not establish a museum. It’s time to move forward with the idea of our museum,” Miles said.

The society will not be able to apply for large donations and grants for the museum until a site is established. 

Following the presentation, Emmons said the current structure on the proposed site is vacant and the new building would be owned by the town.

She said Town Attorney John Wells advised council of two options: to give the land to the society or to allow the society to build a museum and to maintain ownership of the land. 

Councilman Ed Sloan requested a rendering of the advisements be presented to council before voting to allow the current structure to be demolished.

“I would advise us to contact John Wells for legal advisement on that in letter format and we will address the issue again at our June meeting,” Emmons said.

In other business, Councilwoman Dana Sloan gave an update on development plans for Potter Community Park. She showed council a sketch of the updates. Updates include a quarter-mile walking trail, memorial benches, playground and lighting.

“The park committee approved the plans for layout. The vacant area (near the back) will eventually be a playground, that is the last stage,” Sloan said. 

Council approved the updates.

Councilman Brad Hanley reported on the status of an old Blaney fire truck which needs to have a carburetor installed

“Roger Ross is interested in restoring it to some degree, at least to get it running. That might be a project we want to take on,” Hanley said.

Ross, who was present at the meeting, asked council to consider putting a shelter over the truck. He said the truck was in bad condition in part because it does not have any shelter.

Hanley suggested looking at the budget and discussing putting up a shed at a later date, but to move forward with installing the carburetor.

In other business:

• Council passed second reading of a storm water management intergovernmental agreement with Kershaw County.

• Emmons informed council of a bridge closure at Watson Street over Sandy Branch Creek. “It’s not in the town limits but it may affect people who are traveling in and out of town. The closing is effective (today) and they hope to have it reopened by July 17. They will be rerouting traffic, so it may affect business and traffic flow in and out of the area,” Emmons said.

• Council scheduled a special business meeting and workshop for today to discuss the 2015-2016 budget. Emmons asked council to look over the proposed budget during the week. 

• Chairman of Elgin Planning and Zoning Jim Crosby made a recommendation for James Shull to be appointed to the Zoning and Planning Committee. After reviewing his credentials council approved his appointment.



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