GREENVILLE — A motion to scrap a pre-annexation agreement with the Erwin Bros. fuel stop was voted down during Greenville City Council’s meeting Tuesday night.
Councilman Leon Rogers, during the call of council, proposed that council waive the agreement in its entirety.
Rogers said he had been contacted by several people expressing concerns regarding the impasse between the Erwin Bros. and the city. The Erwins have refused to sign a pre-annexation agreement with the city, saying provisions for improvements, such as sidewalks, streetlights, curbs and a widening of Industrial Way Road, are unnecessary. The city, meanwhile, is refusing to provide water and sewer services to the fuel stop unless an agreement is signed. The business had hoped to open December 1.
“We have come to a place where I think we need to move the football down the field,” Rogers said.
The motion was voted down 6 to 1 with Rogers providing the only “yes” vote.
Though voting against the motion, some members of council agreed that a resolution of the standoff needs to be reached.
Councilman Doug Schmidt said, “I agree with Leon. I would love to see this thing move forward, but to do what he’s asking right now might be a little bit much. We probably need to dig in a little deeper before we can make that decision.”
“How much deeper do we need to dig though?” asked Rogers. “We’ve hashed this thing over and over again, and we have come to no agreement.”
Councilman Tracy Tryon expressed concern that waiving the agreement in its entirety would set a bad precedent for similar agreements in the future.
“This has to be moved,” he said, “But Leon, what you’re asking for is setting a precedent that is something that we’ll pay for forever.”
“I would like to see them open, and this part of the situation to a close,” said Councilwoman Dori Howdieshell, “But to delete the whole annexation, I’d like to see some kind of agreement, but to do that is going too far.”
Also voting against the motion were Councilmen Clarence Godwin, John Hensley and Todd Oliver.
In other business, council unanimously approved the city’s 2017 budget.
The city’s budget for the year is $21,030,591 which includes both the city’s general fund ($8 million, approximately) and enterprise funds ($13 million, approximately).
“Giving a lot of credit to all our department heads and people who work and help manage all phases of the city, they’ve done a great job of preparing and presenting their requests and staying within the budgets. It’s really been helpful,” said Council President John Burkett, who noted that the process of putting together the 2017 budget began in May.
Among other measures approved by council were:
- An ordinance authorizing $34,724 of donations to the City Park for the Marling Band Shell project.
- An ordinance authorizing a 2.25 percent wage increase for city employees not covered by wage agreements.
- An ordinance authorizing wages/salaries for for temporary/seasonal employees, reflecting the state’s increase in the minimum wage.
Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison informed citizens that the City Street Department would begin a limb and branch pickup due to a recent storm. The effort will begin Monday, January 23.
Garrison said city workers will begin picking up limbs (3 inches or less in diameter and less than 4 feet long) moving from the south part of the city to the north. He said the pickup does not require residents to call the city in advance, but asked that residents with limbs in alleys move them to the curbs in front of their homes.
Greenville City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Council’s next meeting is scheduled for February 7. The meetings are open to the public.
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