West Pelzer continues contract discussions

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With Greenville Water

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Council delayed any decision on a recent proposal by Greenville Water to purchase capacity to insure the Town’s future capacity, due to concerns raised by the Town attorney. Greenville Water has been touring the area, pitching their proposed buy in offer to the various municipalities. Pelzer has already opted to buy in. Based on the original proposition, the town could buy 100,000 gallons per day for the next century, at a cost of $254,000, or 300,000 gallons per day for $762,000.

If that amount were purchased, or reserved, Greenville Water would finance the amount at the following terms: $762,000 for 5 years at 3.5% = $13,535 per month, or $762,000 for 10 years at 3.5% = $7,535 per month

The 300,000 gallons per day was based on the historical max per day for the Town which was 290,000 in 2008. That calculation was one of several concerns that Town attorney Carey Murphy raised. Mayor Peggy Paxton agreed emphatically that the 290,000 gallon maximum figure is inaccurate. “We average less than 90,000 GPD . That number was wrong and they corrected it when it occurred, but now they are using it to calculate our potential use. It’s wrong.”

Murphy agreed and added that the contract offered by Greenville Water required future purchases of additional capacity, in the event of future growth, to be made in increments of 250 thousand GPD. “The Town can’t possibly handle that requirement. We need to be able to purchase additional capacity in increments of 50,000 GPD.”

The Council chose to seek another meeting with Greenville Water representatives in order to iron out some of the details. Paxton was eager to try and complete the deal before the first of the year, when a significant increase in water rates is slated to kick in.

The Council also received the annual auditor’s report on the Town’s finances from Jason White. The Town received an unqualified opinion, the best report they could get. It assures that the town is basically handling their finances in a responsible manner.

The report indicated that the Town has assets valued at just under $5,000,000, with total liabilities of $661,000.

The Council also unanimously declined a zoning request to rezone a residential location for commercial. An automotive garage with 24 hour towing was proposed for the site. The Town’s planning commission had recommended denial, stating that the request did not comply with the town’s land use plan.