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ETC approves Historical Society request to demolish building

Posted: July 16, 2015 4:49 p.m.
Updated: July 17, 2015 1:00 a.m.

The Blaney-Elgin Museum & Historical Society can move forward with the construction of a proposed museum thanks to Elgin Town Council’s approval of the demolition of a storage unit during council’s July 7 meeting.

Elgin Zoning Administrator Randy Pruitt told council the society’s proposed plans for construction were in compliance with town ordinances. Pruitt advised council to remove the current structures so there is adequate room for the new building.

Answering questions for council members Candy Silvers and Ed Smith, Pruitt said there would be adequate space for parking and the historical society would have to resubmit a plan to scale for the proposed building.

Councilwoman Candy Silvers asked if there would be adequate space for parking to which Pruitt replied that there would. He also said the society needed clearance to demolish the current structures in order to move forward with the project.

“The investors will not invest until they know that they will have somewhere to put the building,” Pruitt said. 

Elgin Mayor Melissa Emmons also stressed the point, noting donations for the site could not be collected until the historical society was allowed to have the land to build. 

Pruitt said the building would be smaller than 2,500 square feet.

Smith asked if the historical society was given a letter from the town’s attorney stating requirements for the structure.

“Several items were listed; I just wanted to make sure they were aware of them,” Smith said.

Emmons said Blaney-Elgin Museum & Historical Society President Shirley Miles was present at the meeting with Zoning and that she understood the stipulations. Emmons also asked who would be financially responsible for demolishing the current building; Miles said the historical society would be.

With no more discussion or questions, council voted to allow demolition of the current building.

“It has taken us time to get there but we had to go through this to make sure everything was in order,” Emmons said. “All of us have worked diligently. I can’t speak for all of us but I do believe we are all looking forward to this. It’s going to be a wonderful asset to our community.”

Also July 7, council looked at a proposed “responsible party” agreement for Potter Community Park. Emmons presented the proposed hold harmless agreement and said the town sought advice on the matter from Town Attorney John Wells.

The proposed agreement says guests of Potter Community Park must agree to the following requirements: No alcoholic beverages, no loud music, guests must dispose of all trash in appropriate can provided, Elgin Town Hall has to be notified in advance if there are electric or water needs, and there should be no inappropriate behavior.

The proposal also states the town of Elgin, its agents and employees would not be held responsible for harm, (loss, damage or injury).

Silvers asked who would determine what inappropriate behavior is.

Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown said it would be a matter of common sense, what the police department normally looks for.

Council voted to accept the agreement and Councilwoman Dana Sloan thanked Brown and Pruitt for their help with creating it.

Council also briefly discussed a proposed War Dog Memorial. The memorial would be located at Potter Community Park near the existing Military Salute and honor combat war veteran dogs and their handlers. The memorial would also be installed and kept up at no cost to Elgin. Kershaw County Clean Community Commission Chairman Clifton W. Anderson Jr. submitted a letter to Emmons discussing specifics of the memorial. Emmons asked council to look over the information and discuss it at council’s August meeting. 

Sloan asked if Emmons knew what the permanent memorial sign would look like. 

“It will depend on when they receive additional funding, so I’m not sure how long it (the temporary sign) will be there. It will be a durable sign; their ultimate goal is a bronze sign,” Emmons said.

Near the end of the meeting, council went into executive session to receive legal advice and to discuss an employee demotion or discipline. After coming out of executive session, Sloan made a motion to begin a town of Elgin procedures investigation to look into computer usage. Emmons suggested that council schedule a workshop to discuss the matter once they get information from the municipal association and review it. 

Council scheduled a fireworks ordinance workshop for Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. to discuss an amendment to the ordinance. 

In other business, council reappointed Novella Taylor to the Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission on Pruitt’s recommendation, and unanimously passed second and final reading of the town’s new chicken zoning ordinance.


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