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Elgin may only allow by-permit charity events
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Individuals and organizations who want to hold charity events in the town of Elgin may have to apply for a permit to do so in the near future. Tuesday night, Elgin Town Council passed first reading of an ordinance that would establish such a rule. No fee would be charged to obtain the permit, however.

According to Mayor Brad Hanley, the proposed ordinance would require that:

• a permit must be obtained 14 days prior to the charity event;

• the organization must show evidence of being a charity or of having nonprofit status;

• the organization must provide written evidence that the business has given them permission to hold the event at that business; and

• a representative of the charity must remain 15 feet from the road way or curb.

In addition, the proposed ordinance includes special conditions for car washes and garage sales. Car washes for charity must use biodegradable detergent. Hanley said that is in response to requirements established by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and by the U.S. Clean Water Act of 1972.

Under the proposed ordinance, charity-related garage sales held outside of residential districts must be limited to two per calendar year for each business site and must have orderly and safe parking for customers and for those passing by.

Council also took up first reading of an amendment to existing Ordinance No. 46 that would increase the maximum fine for an ordinance violation from $250 to $500.

Council will have a second reading of both ordinances either before or on next month’s town council meeting.

In other business, council took up three complaints from the month of July:

The first complaint concerned grass cutters at a local business for reportedly having debris end up in Main Street. Mayor Brad Hanley said he contacted the manager of the business who agreed to speak with the grass cutters about cutting the grass so that less debris is blown into the street.

The second complaint concerned a sewer issue where overflow caused damage to a homeowner’s lawn. The homeowner contacted Kershaw County Utilities, which came to the home and is addressing the issue.

A citizen filed the third complaint expressing concern that some Elgin Police Department (EPD) officers are not certified law enforcement officers. Chief Harold Brown said all EPD officers are certified and plans to write a press release to that effect.

Near the end of the meeting, Councilwoman Melissa Emmons said an Elgin citizen commented on overgrown foliage at the corner of Bowen and Main streets they believe makes it difficult to see when driving. The citizen asked about having someone cut the plants. Council will look into the issue to decide if the S.C. Department of Transportation or landowners would be contacted about the plants.

During the public forum section of the meeting, Boy Scout Troop No. 327 asked if it could meet in Elgin Town Hall on Monday nights as it currently does not have a meeting location.

Council members will discuss the request, but said they believe the request can be honored.