This evening’s council meeting began with a Presentation of Thanks from The Cherokee County Children’s Home to the Town of Blacksburg for the donation of special funds, and an appeal for support, partnership, and volunteers in the Blacksburg area for the Cherokee County Meals on Wheels.
Blacksburg, SC resident Nina Cobb made a presentation on illegal refuse fires in town limits without permits. She informed the council about people burning plastics, mattresses, and even tires in town limits. The Fire Department has been called out to stop it, but it never stops it for good. She asked council to consider a burn ban ordinance in town limits, excluding small recreational fire pits for sitting around, or ticketing or fines to add bite to continuing the practice after being told to stop. She also asked that the rules be made clear to everyone moving into town.
Thomas Dover made a presentation titled “Taxation is Extortion”. The point he made was that, for a town as small and as in need of small business investment as Blacksburg, SC, special business licensing and fees are a barrier to entry for those who would like to open businesses here. He also argued that there are so few amenities offered to businesses within town limits, that proprietors would not see the benefit of paying the extra fees to locate there. The council responded that some of the fee rates are set by the state and not by the town itself, and that they fear losing the needed revenues that are currently provided by the payments made by local businesses.
Town Clerk and Assistant Administrator, Jeff Wilkins read a letter written by outgoing Town of Blacksburg Summer Intern MacKenzie Campbell. She is returning to her studies for Fall semester, but she thanks Blacksburg for the experiences and opportunity that they provided to her.
The Lime Street trailer park was discussed again. Town Administrator Dalton Pierce has been attempting to contact the owners, and Councilman Dennis Stroupe suggests clear rules and ordinances about dumpsters and locations for trash pick-ups to eradicate the trash problem presented by the park.
Planning and Zoning had two items to present. Resident Whitney Black has been appointed to their team and Nina Cobb took the podium a second time to discuss community interest in residential micro-farming within town limits. Currently, all livestock as well as dog kennels and the like are not allowed within town limits. It was suggested that Blacksburg allow residential micro-farming like Gaffney SC next door under a edit to the existing ordinance, but only if they felt that they could enforce the large amount of rules required to keep it from becoming a nuisance. Rules would include caps on the number of animals that could be kept, rules about containing your animals to your own property, and removing all noisy roosters and/or crowing hens, etc. It was stated that Blacksburg needs solid Code Enforcement, and it was also stated that they don’t currently have the funds. The council asked for time to decide.
An idea to place a splash pad on the premises of The Lime Street Park was discussed. An interested party contacted Mayor Mike Patterson with plans to build and maintain the pad at negligible cost to the town. Councilman Dennis Stroupe suggested more centralized development near the center of town in the future rather than a focus on Lime Street Park. Administrator Dalton Pierce expressed concern about the cost and responsibility involved in liability insurances. In the end, the council decided to support the idea with no approvals or commitment to be made until a later date.
Town Administrator, Dalton Pierce suggested using municipal interest-bearing investment accounts to make Blacksburg’s revenues grow and go farther. He acquired an interest rate quote of 1.1% which may become higher in the future as national interest rates change. (The rate won by Cherokee County Council for similar goals was 1.228% based on credit and size of governed area). Council approved the motion.
The Town Event Fee Schedule First Reading was approved, and will be revisited later. The fees range from $0 to $75 depending on the type of event and/or the business organizing them.
Blacksburg Town Council Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm in the Blacksburg Firetruck Museum downtown on Shelby Street, unless otherwise noted. Council meetings are open to the public, so feel free to sit in.