Clinton council will talk Martha Dendy project

The Clinton City Council had a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss the Martha Dendy Project - Tuesday - CLOSED SESSION, talked contract with the Laurens County Council - No Action Is Taken.

The discussion will be in closed session, as it pertains to a contract, according to the agenda. The meeting will be at 6 pm in the council chambers of the municipal center.

ALSO, the City of Clinton is going to talk to the Laurens County Council IN CLOSED SESSION about a "contractual matter" - this likely is the money that the County pays the City to provide fire suppression service outside the city limits. The City wants to increase that payment about $150,000/annual.

Other County County agenda items include Henry Laurens Award recommendation, commendations for Sammy Wham and Mike Pitts, Road Inventory Project (PC intern), Roads & Bridges Dept. update, First Reading of the FY19-20 Budget, fire tax and sales tax, and transferring additional general fund balance to the EMS Fund. 

Closed session discussion in addition to City of Clinton contract is employment matter - County Administrator.

Monday night, the District 56 School Board of Trustees met at 7:30 at Clinton Elementary School. The meeting is open to the public. A district energy report will be given to the board.

Tuesday at 8:15 am, the board of the Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission met in the commission office. A USDA letter outlining conditions for additional funding for the Lake Greenwood Water Plant will be presented.

The board of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce met at noon Tuesday at the office in the Professional Park. First Quarter Ambassador and Small Business of Excellence will be named (next meeting, June 25).

The Laurens County County Council will meet Tuesday, 5:30 pm in Hillcrest Square, Laurens. The meeting is open to the public.

Today (April 23), polls in parts of Laurens and Greenwood counties will be open for special election voting to fill the vacant House District 14 Seat (Mike Pitts resignation). Republican Stewart Jones and Democrat Garrett McDaniel will compete for the seat - results will be posted on this website. Filing for this vacant seat opened on Dec. 28th.

Also TODAY (April 23), there will be a Business After Hours (Laurens County Chamber of Commerce members/invitation) at Self Regional Healthcare, 22580 Hwy 76 East, between Clinton and Laurens. The event will be from 5:30 to 7 pm.



PREVIOUS: Martha Dendy, Feb. 13, 2019


Clinton City Council received an update on ongoing plans to preserve and possibly renovate portions of the old Martha Dendy school building at council’s Feb. 4 meeting – with a sermon thrown in for no additional charge.

Rev. Steven Evans, former pastor of Friendship AME Church, was asked by City Manager Bill Ed Cannon to spearhead an extensive plan for use of the old Martha Dendy property on North Bell Street.

Evans’ aim in previous reports to council has been on finding uses for the building which are “sustainable.”

He said the discussion for how what is left of the building will be used has been a “hot topic.” Evans said the property on which the school sits was originally made available for an African-American school by Friendship AME.

Regarding future use, Evans said. “That can’t just be a recreation center. In the Africa-American community, we get tired of people just giving us basketball courts.”

The city has constructed several outdoor basketball courts on the property after much of the building was demolished. 

“(The building) was become a political pawn,” Evans said. “That needs to stop.” That comment received murmurs of approval from some in the standing-room audience in council chambers.

“We want to make sure what’s going on in College View is also going on in our community,” Evans said. 

He said he envisions three phases of use: a recreation park, the historical piece of the building and as a training center. “We need tangible proof that something’s being done,” Evans said.

He said alumni groups from both Martha Dendy and Bell Street schools are participating in the planning process. Money the city received from the state came with stipulations.

“We can’t just do what we want to do,” he said. “But we need tangible proof that something’s being done.

“Everybody wants their hands on (the building),” Evans said. “But can you sustain it?”

He said the building needs to be more than a youth center since young people are in school most of the day. The building needs to be used to help mothers and fathers, Evans said. 

He said the community needs to invest in young people “who don’t think anybody believes in them. I pray, mayor and council, you understand the city still has to be a viable part of this.”

He said young people could be taught a trade and skills to earn a living.

“Be patient,” Evans said. “It won’t happen overnight. We have to work together. We either live together or we die together. Our community needs healing.”

Evans’ comments were met with applause.

In other business at the Feb. 4 council meeting, Council annexed two pieces of property on Hwy. 56 North that are destined to become the city’s recreation complex.

Council also recognized Ashton and Elaine Barrington, who retired in January after operating Elaine’s Gift Shop and Jitters Café for 18 years. They also operated Harmony House, a gospel music venue.

Council approved a resolution and a framed copy was presented to the Barringtons by Council Member Gary Kuykendall.

“The Lord has sustained us,” Ashton Barrington said. “We love this town. That’s why we’re staying here. We want to help this town to grow. Things have changed. Some for good, some not so good, in my opinion.”






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