Bowick to be grand marshal of Easley Christmas parade Dec. 1

By Ben Robisnon
For The Courier

EASLEY — Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell closed Monday night’s city council meeting with the announcement that retired doctor Herbert Bowick will be the grand marshal of the city’s 2012 Christmas parade.

“He’s served this community in so many ways over the years,” Bagwell said of Bowick, who he estimated to be “somewhere in his 90s.”

“He’ll certainly help Easley give the holiday season a good start,” Bagwell said.
The parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, according to the city’s website. More details about the city’s Christmas celebration will be released in the coming weeks.

Bagwell also announced that David Lappin, who has been filling in at the Director of Public Works position since the retirement of Lamar Hunnicutt, has been hired to fill the position full-time as of Monday.

In other business:

• Stephanie Knight from the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program appeared before Council to report the county’s desperate need for foster families. Knight said that while there are more than 120 children in Pickens County who need the services of foster homes, only 35 families are currently part of the program. Knight said she would like to find families willing to work with birth families who are trying to improve so that they can regain custody of their children.

• Council voted to appropriate money collected from the city’s 2 percent hotel tax.

• Council voted to change the manner in which the city collects taxes on insurance companies to meet new federal guidelines. The city generates $1.2 million in tax dollars annually through this fee.

• Council approved hiring Lamar Construction to complete the improvements under way in Old Market Square.

• Junius Smith, who was a classmate of Bagwell at Clemson University more than 50 years ago, appeared before council opposing a project on the tracks of the old Pickens Doodle.

“I know its something some people want, but it’s a great injustice to the people who live along those tracks,” Smith said.

Smith said he had photographic evidence of all kinds of environmental damage along the tracks, and the city would become liable for the damage if it becomes involved with the project. Smith said his personal research had found the proposed project very unpopular in the community surrounding the tracks.
Another reason Smith said he is fighting the project is that “You cannot legally take people’s property without paying for it.”