WHITMIRE — The town of Whitmire will have a special meeting on Sept. 27 at the old Whitmire High School, located on Coleman Avenue, to discuss what to do with the building.
“We need to take a visit and look at it as it is now, and start making plans for what we want to do with it. I think we, as a group, need to make that visit before we start pursuing anything and decide what, how and when to do something,” said Mayor Billy Hollingsworth.
Council decided that Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. would fit most of their schedules. Hollingsworth also said any Whitmire residents interested in coming are welcome to attend.
“I think it is worth us walking through together, as a group, and just talking as we go. We can start making plans on how to market it, and what we would like the end result of that school to be,” he said.
In other business, council unanimously passed a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, requirement that allows the town to request FEMA money if it is needed.
The plan states that the town of Whitmire recognizes the threat that natural hazards pose to people and property and undertaking mitigation actions before disasters occur will reduce the potential for harm to people and property and save taxpayer dollars.
“Hopefully we will not have to ask for any federal money. We did get some last October. This resolution has to be adopted in order for us to apply and receive FEMA money again,” Hollingsworth said.
In other business, Councilwoman Cassie Fowler brought up the idea of Whitmire residents signing a petition to get term limits for the mayor and council, as well as reducing the number of council members.
Fowler said she has had several people over the years ask “why do we not have term limits on council and mayor?”
Fowler said the S.C. Code of Law states that if it does not pass through council, residents can start a petition and get 15 percent of the town’s population — 210 people — to sign it for it to be placed on the ballot for a vote.
“The other thing was reducing the size of council. I have spoken with Mayor Hollingsworth about that before. With 1,400 people, we do not need six people. The same procedure is needed for that,” Fowler said.
The residents would have to start a petition and 15 percent (210 people) would have to sign it.
Hollingsowrth said they discovered in the past that this would need to be done during an election year, and that the cost of getting it changed is more than what council is paid.
Fowler added that if the size of council was reduced, the town could use the extra money to hire a part-time city manager, something she says the town needs.
• Whitmire Economic Development recently applied for a literacy grant to have a book signing come to Whitmire.
• Hollingsworth read a letter about Maria McMurtury winning the South Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Award for the Community Leader Volunteer Category.
“A lot of volunteer work Maria does is outside the conjunction of Economic Development. She was also nominated last year, and this year it came true. As mayor of Whitmire I am proud of you and thank you for your service,” Hollingsworth said.
• Fowler expressed her disappointment in the cancellation of the Summer Reading Program at the Whitmire Library, and said she will bring it up to someone at the county level.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.