WHITMIRE — The Whitmire Town Council decided on Monday night to move forward with their search for a recreation director for the town.
The new Mayor Billy Hollingsworth asked for permission from the council members to advance with the search for a full time recreation director and all council members were in favor of this decision.
The town has been without a recreation director for almost a year since David Maness left for another job out of state. Former Mayor Tim Carroll and former council member Chrystal Harsha helped out respectively.
Even though Harsha is no longer a council member, she is still helping out through the end of this month.
Hollingsworth said, “We need to think outside the box, be creative and strong. We need the right person with the right attitude.”
In other recreation news, Harsha reported as a resident on Monday that the 9 to 12 year old basketball players will have their first game this Saturday. She said they have 19 kids which is enough for two teams and they will continue to play through Feb. 16.
Harsha also said that registration for Dixie Major and Minor baseball is ongoing through Jan. 31. People may find more information at Town Hall. Whitmire is now in the Prosperity franchise.
In other news related to recreation and natural resources, Jon Durham with Tyger-Enoree River Alliance (TERA) came to talk about his organization and its purpose.
He also expressed the fact that the non-profit organization is housed out of his home in Whitmire and he would like to renovate and utilize the old Speedy’s white building in the downtown area.
Durham said there is glass to be fixed and work to be done on the building but would like to utilize the space for his organization which brings awareness to the Tyger and Enoree rivers and the Sumter National Forest.
All council members agreed unanimously to let Durham use the building and were in favor of what he is doing and how it brings positive public relations to the town.
Hollingsworth said, “It’s another way for us to get a building fixed and move forward. It will help bring revenue into the town.”
Durham’s organization, TERA, was founded in October 2010 and he and other TERA supporters work on improving the community with conservation and volunteer projects centered around the Enoree district of the Sumter National Forest.
For example, Durham said they “picked up 3,000 shell cases (from bullets) last year” and “have led several litter sweeps in the Waterfowl areas” which is how they collected the shell pieces.
Durham and TERA supporters have traveled around the state and outside the state to festivals telling people about the national forest that spreads throughout Whitmire.
Durham said that his organization has gotten great support from the community.
“This organization is a public charity and ultimately belongs to the public,” Durham said, “We have several projects on tap for this year… canoe trips and a vision to expand our funding capabilities by acquiring work space where we can get others in community involved in our fund raising.”
Fund raising is vital for TERA and Durham brought some projects to show to council.
One item is something that Durham creates from paracord. Items include bracelets and key chains which Roche Pharmacy helps sell. Durham says that these paracord items are popular with the students.
Another item Durham showed council was an amplifier made from a cigar box in which music could be played from a mp3 player such as an iPhone or iPod.
People may visit the Kickstarter website to view Durham’s projects for TERA at www.kickstarter.com/discover/cities/whitmire-sc.
News from the Public Works Department
The Public Works Director Jimmy Dunaway told council that he has looked at a couple of asphalt rollers for the town because they are in need of one.
Dunaway said that one used roller went for $1,600 while a 2010 used roller roller went for $9,000. The $1,600 one is from Newberry Tool and Rental which is the one that council opted for unanimously.
Dunaway also came to council saying that he would like to send out a survey on out-of-town limits trash pick-up.
Last year the council voted on having trash pick-up for residents and businesses in the town limits. Now they are looking to expand outside the town limits but need to survey to see who’s interested in household trash pick-up and will send out the surveys soon. The council decided on a price of $10 a month for residents and $30 a month for businesses should there be any new businesses coming.
Whitmire resident Wesley Crisp approached council about the abandoned car ordinance after approaching council about six months ago.
Hollingsworth read over the ordinance which was reworded to include household “rubbish” and vehicles on premises that were unsightly and distasteful.
Hollingsworth said that they need to look at the ordinance in addition to other ordinances. As for the ordinance that Crisp mentioned, Hollingsworth stated that they will look over it and have to have a couple of readings before passing it.
In regards to other ordinances, Hollingsworth said, “Once a year we need to review ordinances and I want to appoint a council member, if that’s okay with them, to overlook it.”
In closing, Hollingsworth said, “We’ve got to make the people in this town have enough pride to clean up their property.”
Hollingsworth announced that on Feb. 18, he wants to have a public meeting at 6 p.m. to talk about the state of the Town of Whitmire.
“I want to hear from the town,” said Hollingsworth, “We need to get the people involved and their input is important to me.”
He and the council will talk about planning projects and generating revenue for the town.
Hollingsworth also said that there will be a meeting on Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. about the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and then on Jan. 25, the town will receive their audit.
Hollingsworth also reminded council that the Newberry County Governmental Association meeting is at the Firehouse Conference Center at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28.