Citizens open up to Winnsboro Town Council

WINNSBORO – Winnsboro’s Town Council’s meeting agenda was light last week, but all the chairs in the room were filled, and many of those sitting in the chairs had something to say to Council.

Winnsboro resident Jenyfer Conaway kicked things off by introducing herself as a “damn yankee” who works in Charlotte. She said she loves Winnsboro and purchased a house here 10 years ago for $78,000 which, she said, is now worth only $35,000.

“Our town is dying,” Conaway stated, initiating a dialogue with council members, asking if they knew their oath of office.

Mayor Gaddy intercepted the exchange and instructed Conaway that dialogue was not part of the program.

“I just want someone to listen to us,” she added, before sitting down.

Vanessa Reynolds said her position as a national sales manager gives her access to businesses in all areas of the country.

“Small towns are not trending down overall,” she said.  She said they are trending up and cited the need for Winnsboro to enforce their code 96.5 Section B ordinances. These ordinances address decaying exterior exposures of buildings including peeling or cracked exteriors, broken doors and windows, etc.

Reynolds said the Town’s lack of enforcement is extending the problem and called for cooperation among residents.

“We need to roll up our sleeves,” she said.

Mayor Gaddy responded, thanking her for giving Council solutions and not just complaints.

Attorney and Ridgeway Municipal Judge, Adrian Wilkes, requested that Council record their meetings.  He said it would be a big benefit to have something to look back to when issues arise.

“I was taken aback that merchants don’t know that grant money is available for downtown revitalization,” Mitford resident Wanda Carnes said. Carnes said she owns four buildings and would like to have been able to use the unspent money for revitalizing the look of her storefronts.

“A line was added to the application saying that only one revitalization grant is available per owner,” Carnes said. “When was that line added and who voted to add it?”

Gaddy said he would get that information to her.

Keryn Isenhoward asked Council’s for the use of Mt Zion Green trail for a four-hour breast cancer walk on Oct. 20.  Keep Going Fairfield County will be the event title.  Council agreed to support the event by providing use of Mt Zion, electricity and maintaining the trash bins for the day.  Councilman McMeekin championed the event, making the motion to allow the walk.  The motion passed 5-0.

Fairfield Central Band Director, Sir Davis, asked Council to allow gratis use of the Old Armory Building on June 1, for the band’s banquet.  Council voted 5-0 in favor.

Also on the agenda was the Chamber of Commerce relocation discussion, but Terry Vickers asked that it be deferred.

Councilman Danny Miller said he had held a council position for 23 years and expressed his love for concerned people.

“We are all in it together,” Miller said, “and we are going to get there through love and working together.”