Pickens city council covers variety of topics at meeting

By Ben Robinson, Courier Staff

PICKENS — At Monday night’s city council meeting Pickens mayor David Owens urged recreation department director Cheri Anthony to keep Bruce Field in mind when planning fall recreation events.

Anthony replied that the field may host this year’s Super Saturday event to kick off recreation football.

Owens was pleased with the idea and even said the city would make adjustments to allow for more parking.

The mayor, city administrator Katherine Hendricks, councilmen Patrick Lark and Carlton Holley and councilwoman Patti Welborn were in attendance at the meeting, while councilmen Isaiah Scipio, Fletcher Perry and Donnie McKinney were absent. Reports were that McKinney had a death in his family.

Morgan Young from the development company of Black and Veatch gave an update on the situation conceding DHEC’s inspection of the water facility at City Lake.

Morgan said a national inventory of dams had the information all wrong on the City Lake site. Morgan sad officials first drew concern after a preliminary report indicated that DHEC was going to require a detailed inspection of the site. Morgan urged city officials to meet with DHEC officials to see where the city stood.

Morgan and city officials met with DHEC officials last week. The city officials were working on a letter that would likely make a detailed inspection unnecessary. The DEHC officials were pleased with the city’s proposals.

“We will send a letter to DHEC,” Morgan said. “And I think this issue will go away.”

“We went from being real scary and costly to not so bad now,” Owens said with a smile.

Police chief Rodney Gregory reported that the city of Pickens Police Department has earned a $50,000 grant that will cover many supplies, but at this point the money is not available.

Gregory noted that the state’s new texting ban is now in effect, but officers can only write warning tickets for the first 180 days. Actual tickets will carry a $25 fine.

Gregory said the city is looking at amending the current noise ordinance, which calls for quiet after 8 p.m. With so many concerts being a part of the city’s entertainment programs, officials are considering changing the law to read 10 p.m., with special events being able to go until 11 p.m.

Fire chief Chris Elrod handed out a list of acceptable key boxes that are available to local businesses. The key boxes allow fire department to enter the property in emergency situations without damaging the property.

The city uses Knox Box brand locks. Cost ranges from $245 to $325.

Council members also learned the Pickens Senior Center is planning a barbecue Aug. 16. The center continues to do well and has grown to 250 members.