At Winnsboro Town Council’s meeting two weeks ago, Fairfield Central High School’s new athletic director Rahim El-Amin spoke before the Council to ask permission to water four sports fields that he said would require 84,000 gallons each week.
El-Amin was again in attendance at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting to further discuss the matter in more detail, as the Town’s special utilities council John Fantry was also in attendance.
Since that discussion took place during the portion of the meeting that was held behind closed doors in an executive session, the discussion has not been made public. Town Manager Assistant Lorraine Abell later said no decision was made about granting the high school water for their ball fields. It was not made clear why the discussion was held in executive session. The S.C. Freedom of Information Act allows for closed-door discussion of specific personnel issues, contractual negotiations and legal matters, as well as some negotiations of economic development matters, but not watering requests.
Resident Mike Ward addressed the Council on the current drought issue.
“I’ve been reading in the paper about the water issue,” Ward said. “The Town’s reservoir is only 194 acres in size. Shouldn’t that be increased? Do you have a long range plan to create long term water resources?”
“We are looking at several things,” said Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy. “Whether that’s going to be getting water from the Broad River, Lake Monticello or increasing the size of the reservoir. The Army Corp of Engineers is looking into it, but we are probably two years away (before the study is complete). It’s already been one year.”
Town Manager Don Wood gave the Council an update on Town Clock upkeep plans.
“We are moving slowly toward the renovation and stability of the Town Clock,” he said. “We will soon be putting the work out for bids. Once that is awarded, it will be 90 days before starting.”
Wood also announced The Town of Winnsboro has been named a “Tree City” for the 22nd time.
Other Town project updates included the new Town Hall Annex, which Abell said will be receiving interior construction soon.
“We are hoping to have the construction completed and the finance department moved in by the end of July,” she said.
Abell also said the Town is working on a contract with AT&T on a cell tower lease for the top of the water tank in Blythewood.
Mayor Gaddy began Tuesday’s Town Council by reading a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. He directed that all flags on Town buildings be flown at half staff on that day in recognition of the essential role law enforcement agencies play in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Winnsboro, and to honor officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.