City to contribute $25k

Clinton agrees to give Chamber of Commerce money for new building

At its meeting on Monday evening, the Clinton City Council gave $25,000 to the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce as a one-time appropriation for the chamber’s estimated $2.6 million building program.

Rick Meredith, president of the chamber, informed the council that construction would soon start on the chamber’s new 8,700-square-foot headquaters.

He said that 1,300 square feet of that total would be devoted to a board room that would also be a multipurpose meeting room.

Meredith said that because the Anderson County Tourism Commission will not be occupying space in the building as previously planned, the chamber had to redraw its plans.

He said the brickwork would be in keeping with the old buildings in downtown Clinton. It was noted that the city provides $15,000 annually to the chamber in its budget.

The motion to provide the requested funds passed on a 5-1 vote.

Councilman David Queener cast the lone dissenting vote. He said he felt the chamber did nothing for the city and he was not willing to fund that organization. Councilman Jim McBride was absent.

In a related matter, Councilman Larry Gann said the site plan for the chamber building had passed with some stipulations. He said that the city of Clinton has one of the lowest fee structures in the area. Because of that, the current fee structure would be examined, he said.

City Manager Roger Houck informed the council of a bill awaiting the governor’s signature that would change the way voting is done in Clinton.

Currently, council members are elected at large. If the governor signs this bill, only the people in a particular ward would be allowed to vote for the council candidates in that ward.

In a related matter, Houck said that according to the city’s charter, the ward boundaries are supposed to be evenly balanced according to population. He said that boundaries have not been adjusted in 20 years, and changing populations have caused the wards to be out of balance.

The city will have to take action to bring ward boundary lines in balance with the population, he said..