County council OKs access road to fire station

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — On a night when every vote by county council was unanimous, Pickens County councilman Tom Ponder had an objection to the proposed access road to the Shady Grove fire station.

The proposal called for a one-lane road to the station. Crews would have access to communication equipment to be sure that traffic problems would not hinder the arrival of aid.

But Ponder wondered if that would create a public safety issue.

Councilman Trey Whitehurst pointed out that one-way streets work all over the county with proper markings. Ponder suggested the county look into what markers are required by law for an emergency lane.

“I hate to be that way, but you’ve always got to look at the worst-case scenario,” Ponder said.

Council approved the road with the stipulation that staff would investigate and be sure all federal requirements were met.

In other business, council also moved a request from sheriff Rick Clark regarding a jail mental health collaboration grant application to committee for further review.

Council also approved bids for a chiller at the Pickens County Courthouse and for painting at the stockade treatment facility.

During the public forum session of the meeting, David Parsons of the Cliffs at Keowee Springs said the area’s fire protection is run by the Vineyards Fire Department.

“We have no representation on the Keowee Vineyards board,” Parsons said.

Parsons said that was understandable since the Keowee Vineyards community “is at least four times larger than us.” But he wanted to be sure his concerns were heard by someone.

Junius Smith of Liberty said a group of homeowners along the proposed Doodle Trail had submitted a list of things to be taken care of before the trail opens.

“So far they haven’t done anything,” Smith said. “That’s a bunch of baloney.”

Smith reminded all that the trail will open in just a few months.

Interim county administrator Ralph Gaurino reminded people that on April 18 “Wings and Wheels for Meals” will be held at the Pickens County Airport, with the goal of raising at least $13,500, which would cover the cost for a full Meal on Wheels route.

Later, councilman Trey Whitehurst said the war memorial event planned for the Pickens County Courthouse has been moved from Memorial Day to June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.