Ehrhardt not buying into County Rural Water System

Mayor Bill Stanley said the Town of Ehrhardt is not buying into the County Rural Water System. According to Stanley, the county system would just be a backup anyway.

The town gets lots of compliments on the new water system that Ehrhardt has. Stanley said they are in the process of restoring well number three. It has already had the treatments that DHEC required and they are now waiting on lab samples to be taken, which is expected in the next couple of weeks.

“We are well on the way to getting it ( well #3 ) up and running. We have been making payments on it since 1978. We need to get it in service," said Stanley.

Disaster preparedness was another subject of interest at Ehrhardt’s Town Council meeting last Tuesday night.

“We never know what disaster could hit our town. How about the town hall for a shelter,” asked Judy Brown.

Both Mayor Bill Stanley and Councilman Bill Edinger said they met with Frank Boardman, an EMS and Fireman for Ehrhardt, about 6 months ago and there are plans in the works for an emergency center at town hall.

Edinger said the government is trying to get us some energy equipment and according to Councilman Freddie Copeland the town has standing generators for the water and sewer department.

Donna Rogers, a resident of Ehrhardt, said she thought the public needs to be educated about their survival in case of a disaster.

Rogers also had a picture of J. H. Walker that she acquired when she purchased a bookcase at the estate sale of Pete and Millie Fox’s home. Walker was Millie Fox’s father and was also an agent for Western Union in Ehrhardt and was the secretary and treasurer at Herndon Stockyards for 40 to 50 years.

“The Fox’s were fine people and I hated to see them move. I would like to donate this picture to the Town of Ehrhardt,” said Rogers.

In other business:

• Public Safety Chief Chad Dilling said there were two structure fires so far in this month, one on Hwy 64 and the other on Rivers Bridge Rd. The Ehrhardt Fire Department responded in 2011 to 12 structure fires, 15 brush fires, 11 first responders, 2 auto accidents, 5 tree removals and 3 false alarms.

• Dilling said that Bamberg County Fire Coordinator Brenna Hancock needs a map of the new water system. Fire Inspector, David Holcomb, said it had been a long time since the last inspection and this new water system could affect (lower) the ISO rating. Mayor Stanley said, "lower ISO rating means lower insurance rates for all of us."

• Dilling said the Ehrhardt Police Department responded to 135 calls in 2011 versus 95 calls in 2010. That was a substantial increase from one year to the next.

• Kathie Stroman reported that for the month of January the town was at 80 percent budget. The water department is at 41 percent budget . We are in the process of pursuing a grant for a new police car.

• Council passed first reading on Ordinance # 2012-01 amendment, 'unlawful weapons' in Ehrhardt. The Concealed Weapons and Carrying of Weapons Ordinance is a state ordinance. The amended ordinance would mean that anyone charged with unlawful weapons in the town limits would meet court in Ehrhardt and pay the fine in Ehrhardt instead of going to Bamberg. A copy of this ordinance may be picked up at Town Hall.