News Column

Wellford council studying feasibility of museum project

August 6, 2014

By Kim Kimzey, Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, S.C.



Aug. 06--More than three years after plans to open a history museum were placed on hold, the idea was discussed at Tuesday's Wellford City Council meeting.

Sherry Santana told fellow council members that a lot of work has to be done at the former post office on Main Street before the city could open the building to the public.

Santana said she's waiting to receive bids. Those estimates would give council members a better understanding of how much the project would cost.

After the meeting, Mayor Tommy Watson said the city is studying the feasibility of finishing the museum.

Watson's predecessor, Sallie Peake, initiated the project with plans to open it before the June 2011 election. But Peake's plans were put on hold after questions from county building officials and a state investigation into alleged funding irregularities. After a months-long investigation into the city's finances, the State Law Enforcement Division charged Peake with one count of misconduct in office.

Watson said the city has spent more than $65,000 on the proposed museum, but has not had the funds to pursue the project.

Watson said the deed states that if the building is not opened as a museum, that it will revert back to the owner. But there are many unknowns.

Watson said the city cannot get a certificate of occupancy until several additions are made to the building and parking lot, including making it handicap accessible.

In other business, council members unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of property on North Street Extension.

Watson told council that there is a pump station located on the property on which the city has an easement. He said the owner has offered to sell the property, which is just over a quarter acre, for $2,500.

"We've got a mobile home that sits on part of that property that we'll have to resolve, but I think it's probably a prudent course of action to buy that piece of property," Watson said.

Council Member Wymond Wilkins questioned how the property purchase would benefit the city.

Watson said the city will have to expand the pump station at some point. He said the city owns property where other pump stations are located.

Wilkins questioned what would happen to the mobile home owner.

Watson said the city will probably have to sell the owner a piece of that property, but a survey is needed to know the exact course of action.

Follow Kim Kimzey on Twitter @KimKimzeySHJ

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(c)2014 Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.)

Visit the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) at www.GoUpstate.com

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Source: Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC)


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