By Amanda Collins
After the town council meeting was adjourned on Wednesday, Oct. 17, business owners John and Angie Pendleton, made several comments.
John Pendleton said they have been asked during the previous few months’ meetings if they had anything but that wasn’t done this time. Town Attorney, Chris Corbett said that they would need to be placed on the agenda by calling before the next meeting. John Pendleton asked that they be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.
Angie Pendleton said, “We are here to support the town, we want to see it grow.”
John Pendleton asked about the town’s website showing Granny’s Attic as an antique store, which has been closed for four or five years. Stuart Mayor Ray Weiland said the reason is because when the site was hacked, everything was wiped out and the items put back on was from what was saved last. Weiland said that the Facebook page almost has 2,000 followers, which is more than the amount of town residents. He also said that the Facebook page is up to date with current information.
John Pendleton said that he noticed on the Facebook page someone asked a question about whether vendors would be set up at the Apple Dumpling Festival. The question was unanswered for two days, he said and added that someone else asked if it was $20 for the 5K or to get into the festival. That also went unanswered.
Councilwoman, Rebecca Adcock said, “people don’t actually read it anyway.” She said individuals post in the actual event asking what time it begins when the event includes that information.
Angie Pendleton said that she believes that the town’s website is critical and doesn’t want to see it taken down.
Weiland said it was his idea years ago, got it started and “had a good setup until the hacking issue. We just haven’t been able to come back from that yet.”
John Pendleton said that getting the youth from the high school involved and monitor it can help cut down on the cost of having to pay for the website to be updated by an outside vendor.
The Pendleton’s have expressed their concerns in previous meetings that the town’s website is not up to date and they feel it’s a great way to promote the town.
John Pendelton asked if anyone had talked to anyone in tourism to see if there is any way to get the county and town website done together.
Weiland said, “we’ve tried to work with them and we give information to the county and all that, their site doesn’t get changed. It doesn’t always work for us.”
John Pendleton said that the council spent about 15 to 20 minutes during the last meeting discussing what to do with accounts that are overdue on paying their utility bills for water, sewer and trash. He pointed out that this is something the same council had talked about and voted on in Nov. 2016, then again in May 2017. He said he has yet to hear them discuss any ideas on how to promote the town or to help make it grow.
Weiland said that those types of ideas are discussed during the week whenever they get a chance to talk, there is no set time.
John Pendleton asked, “isn’t this the appropriate place to discuss?”
“We don’t want to sit here for three or four hours. We aren’t going to do that,” Weiland said. “We try to get that situated so we can come in here and have a public meeting for 30 minutes to an hour.”
Angie Pendleton asked if the town had looked into offering the service of customers being able to pay their bills online.
Susan Slate said that customers can call the town office and pay over the phone with a credit card now. Weiland said that offering an online payment option is “pricey.”
John Pendleton then asked about the sewer project that has been under discussion; on for months. Weiland said there is “a lot of equipment down there that’s just worn out and before we started getting fines hundreds of thousands of dollars per day per offense,” we’ve got to get those things fixed.
“It seems like that’s been going on for a couple of years,” John Pendleton said.
“It’s taken a while but we got funding, we received some grant funding. (We) finally had to make some threats to get our plans taken care of,” Weiland said. We finally got them and it’s a long ways off from what we need but we are going to push this one forward.”
Weiland did not return calls for additional comments on Monday.