Pickens votes not to donate to festival

PICKENS — Pickens city council voted Monday night not to donate $4,000 as requested to the Pickens Azalea Festival.
Council voted unanimously not to pass the request from the Pickens Azalea Festival Committee for funds for the 2011 festival.
Councilman Fletcher Perry, chairman of the council’s finance committee, made the recommendation, citing the lack of hospitality funds available following the money’s use on the West Main Street Sidewalk Project.
Mayor David Owens said that the city will continue to make its in-kind donation of sanitation and police for the event. Owens said the city annually shoulders the cost of those services that are valued at $5,000 to $6,000.
In other business, the city passed the final reading to annex a small plot of land near the new high school into the city and the first reading to rezone property on the south side of Secona Road and East Dean Street from neighborhood business to residential.
The city also agreed to issue a general obligation bond in an amount not to exceed $500,000 to help consolidate debt and to help purchase a new trash truck, commercial lawn mower and police cruiser.
The city then passed the first reading on an ordinance that will split the city into two polling places for future municipal elections. According to the Pickens County Election Commission, the city has to make available two polling places once the number of registered voters passes 1,000. The second polling place will be at Secona Baptist Church. All voters that vote at Secona during regular state and county elections would continue to do so for municipal election. All other city residents will continue to vote at city hall if the measure passes the final reading in March.