NEESES – The Town of Neeses and all of western Orangeburg County now has a residential officer from the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Franklin Williams, who was introduced at the June town council meeting at the Seniors Recreation and Leisure Center.
As his title implies, Williams will be living in North and will have many duties in the region.
The council meeting, the first held in a couple of months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was moved to and held at the more spacious senior center, and masks and gloves were strongly suggested. Temperatures were taken before admittance, and seating arrangements were spread out according to social distancing guidelines.
On behalf of Sheriff Leroy Ravenell, Capt. Randy Culler introduced Williams.
Culler stated, “Sgt. Williams will be working out of an office space at the Neeses Town Hall.”
He said they wanted to pick somebody from the area and with experience.
“He’s going to be working different hours in the area. He will be involved in towns in the entire western region. He will focus strictly on this area,” Culler said.
He noted Williams will be attending council meetings throughout western Orangeburg County, will be visiting area schools as well and will have a strong presence in the area.
Mayor Kenneth Gleaton said, “We are real pleased that Sheriff Ravenell and you decided to place somebody in this area.”
Culler said there will be other officers coming into the area as well.
Williams also introduced himself and said he was pleased to be there and had a lot of connections to the area.
In other business, Gleaton gave first reading of the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year budget with a grand total of $447,092.00, noting that this also accounts for penny sales tax money for the senior center. A public hearing for the budget was scheduled for Tuesday, June 23.
Gleaton also made a motion to purchase a used copy machine for town hall at a cost of $1500 with a $300 service contract. The motion was approved.
Gleaton also announced that David Nettles’ Lawn Care and Grass Cutting had the low bid on cutting the graveyard in town and will be maintaining the property.
Al Jenkins, regional director for Sen. Tim Scott’s office, was in attendance at the meeting and was invited early in the meeting to make comments about what he and Scott’s office have been doing for the area.
“I did do some tours of some of the storm damage (in Neeses). It was heartbreaking. We were here to see that FEMA had funds to help,” Jenkins said.
He also aided the area in another way.
“I was here when they did the senior food distribution,” he said.
Town Clerk Sonja Gleaton announced that the town will conduct another Seniors COVID-19 Emergency Nutritional Meals program Thursday, June 4. She added that 120 meals have been served to seniors 60 and over in the program.
Mayor Gleaton later discussed the future of some town events.
“Not sure when Crime Watch meetings will start back up. I would imagine July or August at the earliest,” he said.
The Neeses Crime Watch group will not meet this month.
“Neeses only has four cases of COVID-19. We don’t want it to blossom out,” the mayor said.
There will also be no immediate litter clean-up because of the pandemic and the hot weather. The recreation department programs have been placed on hold as well.
“There will possibly be a delay of tee-ball until August … on Saturdays if school is back up,” Mayor Gleaton said.
He said that he would like to start back up the seniors exercise program at the senior center in July.
Mayor Gleaton said that the town is planning to update the zoning and planning ordinance and is gathering information from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments on how to proceed.