PARD Funds Destined for Winnsboro Park

WINNSBORO – State Senator Creighton Coleman told Winnsboro Town Council Tuesday night that $23,798.35 in state Parks and Recreation Departments (PARD) funds are available to the Town, which must be spent and invoiced by May 31. The PARD funds come from the budgeted years of 2011 and 2012. Winnsboro’s Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator, Billy Castle, recommended that the funds be spent to renovate Fortune Springs Park. Some of the projects in the renovation include addressing handicap accessibility, a new parking pad and installing curbing and sidewalks. In addition, Castle said there will be enough money left over to bring the pool into compliance and believes these renovations will help Winnsboro down the road.

“The additions will benefit the Town in receiving funds in the future,” Castle said. “This is all leading to phase work and basic future improvements for the park.”

Council members unanimously voted to approve the motion to begin using the PARD funds to renovate Fortune Springs Park.

The next order of business for council was the announcement of a grant that was awarded from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On behalf of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, $240,100 was approved to purchase new fire fighting turnout gear, breathing apparatuses and to provide training for firefighters. The town of Winnsboro is only required to match 5 percent of the total cost ($12,005). Winnsboro’s share will be paid for out of the general fun and investment account. Mayor Roger Gaddy was pleased with announcement and gave all the credit to grant administrator Connie Schackelford.

“It’s a fantastic return on our investment,” Gaddy said. “A big thanks to Connie for writing grant application. It’s certainly one of the highest grants we’ve received in quite a while.”

Council began their meeting with the first reading of ordinance number 031913, which adjusts the Town of Winnsboro’s business license fees. The new rates bring the town up to date with surrounding municipalities, Council said; however, most rates will stay the same, while some will even decrease. The second reading along with a public hearing will be held at the next Town Council meeting on March 4.

Jesse Douglas, Director of the Gas, Water and Sewer Department, filed a request to fill vacancies in the department. At the present time the department is operating on a shortage of five employees and Douglas has requested to fill three of them, including a Water Plant Operator and two work crew technicians. Council approved the motion to fill those vacancies.