During the last two fiscal years, Oconee County Council has funded much-needed updates and repairs to County-owned library buildings in Walhalla, Westminster and Seneca as well as the purchase of a new bookmobile and a one-acre lot across from the Walhalla Library, needed for expansion of library parking.
Below are photos of some of the improvements. The labor of County employees from various departments allowed the money to go a lot farther. Roads and Bridges staff paved the Westminster parking lot, for example, while much of the plumbing and electrical work was performed by workers from Buildings and Grounds.
The Oconee Intelligence Agency lives! It was always my intellectual property, used to inform the community about goings-on at the Oconee County Public Library. Now I will use it as a vehicle for observations from my vantage point in the community of Fair Play, South Carolina, where my wife and I have purchased a second home. Our legal residence is still in Anderson, South Carolina, where we’ve owned the same home for 27 years. We’re both exploring options in our joint retirement.
Since we are now owners of a house in Fair Play, we’ve been involved in the discussions about the Pioneer Water System’s new water treatment plant. As customers of the Pioneer Water System, we were amazed at the stance taken by Oconee County Council and the administration. To attempt to block the construction of a water treatment plant that is designed to provide for the water needs of future occupants of the Golden Corner Commerce Park seems counter-productive, to put it mildly. As some one pointed out at one of the meetings I attended, Pioneer Water customers, such as myself, will end up paying the legal fees of both parties!
Fair Play, I’ve been informed, was once an incorporated town, but gave up its charter just before World War II, apparently because it could not afford to pay the costs of the new state highway, Highway 243. Some of the residents are considering whether the town should seek a new charter, in order to control growth, provide police protection, trash pickup, and qualify for grants. Stay tuned for further developments.
After many delays, the bookmobile constructed by Farber Specialty Vehicles is ready to roll! The original date of delivery was October 1, 2016, but Farber experienced difficulties in receiving the body from its supplier. Blair Hinson, OCPL’s Branch Services Librarian, was the library staff member responsible for the project and admits it was like “birthing a baby.” Thanks go to Ernie Beck and his crew at Vehicle Maintenance, and Derek Burnette and the staff at Diamond T in Fair Play who provided the art work. The bookmobile will make its debut this Saturday morning, March 18, 2017, at the Shaver Center in Seneca, South Carolina, where Seneca’s annual 5K and Half-Marathon foot races begin and end.
On Tuesday morning, February 21, 2017, the day the Journal published an article entitled “Former Oakway school project taking place”on page A3, I stopped by the school on my way to Walhalla and took the following photos. A week earlier, OCPL staff members Blair Hinson, Branch Services Librarian and Janice Lovinggood, the Library Secretary, who lives nearby, met me at the school for a tour of the facility. Kevin Robinson, head of the Oconee County Delinquent Tax office, had been assigned the task of setting up the meeting by County Administrator Scott Moulder. Sheriff Mike Crenshaw,Terry Swain, a member of the steering committee for the Oakway Intermediate School; and a representative of Lifeline Church, which needs meeting space for several Scout troops, were some of the individuals in attendance for the tour.
OCPL is interested in the possibility of putting a library branch in the large suite of several rooms which formerly housed the School Media Center. Located at the far end of the building, the suite is approximately 3,000 square feet in size and has a separate outside entrance, which is handicapped accessible. It also has its own parking area. Below are photographs of this end of the school building.
The Oconee County Public Library was first established in May of 1948. The first library opened in October of that year in the old courthouse annex in Walhalla, SC. A bookmobile was also purchased and began operation in that same year.In 1952 a library was established in Salem. In 1981, a new Salem Town Hall was built and dedicated May, 1981, with provision for a branch library. Oconee County leases a 1,025 square foot room inside the Town Hall and shares a parking lot and public restrooms with the Town Hall. In 2014, the proposed capital sales tax plan included funds for a 5,000 square foot free-standing Salem Library, but the voters defeated the proposal 55% to 45%.
Dan Polk is the Branch Manager and Kayla Rucker is the Assistant Branch Manager.
The hours of operation are Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Tuesday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Last evening, the three members of Oconee County‘s legislative delegation met to hear concerns from their constituents. The meeting was held in the meeting room at the historic Westminster Depot in Westminster, South Carolina. State SenatorThomas Alexander, State RepresentativeBill Sandifer, and StateRepresentativeBill Whitmire make up the delegation and all were present at the meeting. Also present was Carol Baumgarner, Delegation Secretary,who operates the delegation’s local office located at 10 Short Street in Walhalla, South Carolina.
Today, Friday February 3, 2017, the arborist crew from Oconee County’s Road and Bridges Department visited the property across from the Walhalla Library to take down some dead trees. The 1.167 acre lot was purchased by Oconee County last fall and will be used for staff parking and for outdoor programming.
Below are photographs of County workers in action using their equipment to cut down two large dead trees on the property. Four dump truck loads of debris were removed during the day.