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Council amends budget, talks Arch and Big Grab

First Posted: 10:53 am - July 15th, 2015

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RIDGEWAY — Water rate discussion dominated Ridgeway Town Council’s most recent meeting, but council also discussed the set-up of the Big Grab and received an update of ongoing Arch preservation efforts.

Council voted 4-1 to increase water usage rates by .01 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, which matches the usage rate increase passed by the Town of Winnsboro. This is a change from the $1 per 1,000 gallons of water increase Council previously approved.

The larger increase was approved because of an inaccurate interpretation of the Town of Winnsboro’s water rates.

“I feel we need to stay in line with Winnsboro’s rate,” said Councilman Heath Cookendorfer. “Next year, if we need to adjust that rate, we will.”

This was the prevailing sentiment, and the rate was ultimately reduced. Councilman Doug Porter was the love dissenting vote in favor of either keeping the rate the same or enacting a smaller increase.

Porter said the increased revenue would be immensely helpful for an aging water system.

Cookendorfer updated Council about efforts being made to preserve and restore the Ridgeway Arch.

“I’ve got some update on the Arch Committee,” Cookendorfer said. “We have hired a gentleman, King David Murphy, he is actually over there working on the Arch currently.”

Cookendorfer said so far, the front part of the Arch’s foundation has been dug out, which will allow for the placement of stabilizing cinder blocks or concrete.

Arch preservation will also include a 21st century component.

“I’m actually creating a Go Fund Me account online to get people to donate for repairing the Arch,” Cookendorfer said.

Councilman Russ Brown voiced his approval of the Go Fund Me campaign.

“That’s a good idea,” Brown said.

Cookendorfer said when the account is completed a link will be added to the Save the Ridgeway Arch Facebook page.

“As soon as it’s out there, I’ll link it with the Save the Arch Facebook page,” Cookendorfer said. “We’re starting on our project and trying to get some revenue in, so we can continue to work on this Arch.”

Cookendorfer said he had also talked to Fairfield County about extending the terms of the community improvement grant.

“I have contacted Fairfield County about the extension on the enhancement grant, because we were having to get the additional quotes, and I got some fund quotes, and that has been turned into the town,” Cookendorfer said. “We are moving forward.”

Mayor Charlene Herring mentioned considerations Ridgeway Town Council will need to make related to the Big Grab, the 43-mile yard sale, which includes Blythewood, Ridgeway and Winnsboro.

“Since the Town will be supervising the parking and whatever and also charging a fee for people to set up there (at the Cottonyard), we looked into insurance and getting the information, and it was $356.70 from one insurance group, and that’s for two days,” Herring said. “And Porta Potty was $92 for two days.”

Herring said Council needs to decide what to charge vendors for spots. She suggested $30 for two days and $20 for one day.

“How many spots are you talking about?” asked Brown.

Herring said that has not yet been determined, but last year there were at least 30 vendors.

Brown said he would like to measure and demarcate spots before determining the charge. The Big Grab takes place Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Ridgeway Town Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Century House.

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