Elgin Town Council voted unanimously Aug. 2 to move forward in producing an official town website.
Councilwoman Melissa Emmons spearheaded the effort earlier this year by bringing the issue to council’s attention.
During council’s July meeting, Emmons provided council with the names of two companies -- one local, one from Columbia -- she said would be capable of building the site.
Ultimately, council voted to use the locally-based company.
“I think it’s important to have everything we do (as council) to be out there for people to see,” she said.
Emmons said she believes it would bring the town of Elgin “up-to-date with the times.”
“The first thing I do when I want to learn more about a place is Google it,” she said. “Right now, Elgin is hard to find.”
Other council members asked if Emmons felt like the town was ready to take this step with the web.
“We’re going to come to a day where we have to go in this direction,” Emmons said. “This is a tool that not only will the town use, but the police department can use it, all the various organizations (in town) can use -- like the Catfish Stomp. It’s an advertisement for our town. It’s a way to get the name of our town out. But the thing I like the most about the idea is the information that is going to be available to the public about our finances, our calendar of events and the minutes from our meeting. This will be a place where people can access this information with the push of a button.”
The initial expense of setting up the website will cost the town just more than $1,500. Recurring costs include an annual $108 fee for hosting and monthly $199 maintenance fee.
“I know it sounds like a lot,” Emmons told council, “but the payback over a longer period of time is a big possibility.”
The possibility of partnering with the Elgin Business Association to allow Elgin businesses to advertise on the website was also brought up as an option.
In other business:
• Bob Mauney addressed council about the possibility of pet dogs in Elgin being stolen and used as dog fighting bait. Mauney said he has been helping people find lost dogs for the past seven years and that he’s seen a spike in lost dogs recently.
“In South Carolina we do have a probably with this,” he said.
Mauney said he wasn’t singling Elgin out, but wanted to bring the issue up to Elgin Town Council so council members would be aware of the problem.
• Council voted unanimously to pass first reading of an amendment to Ordinance 159. The amendment deals with property owners in Elgin keeping lots clean of weeds, debris and junk vehicles/parts. The amendment removes the phrase “upon written complaint to the town” to simply allow the Elgin zoning administrator or mayor to notify the property owner in writing without a formal complaint from a citizen.
• Organizers for the Elgin Catfish Stomp met Aug. 4 to discuss this year’s parade route. Tentatively, organizers plan for the parade to start at Ross Street and continue down U.S. 1 to Greenhill Road. The parade will start Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.
George Marthers, Catfish Stomp organizer, said the plan is tentative because the route has to be cleared through Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown before it can be finalized.
The Catfish Stomp carnival will be held in the grassy field at the corner of U.S. 1 and Greenhill Road.
Marthers said he encourages anyone interested in getting involved with planning to attend the next meeting Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at Elgin Town Hall.
For more information, email ElginCatfishStomp@hotmail.com.