Pelzer officials continue to look at water options

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By David Meade

During their regular monthly meeting July 11, Pelzer Town Council met with representatives of Greenville Water System to discuss a water supply agreement and with a representative of Utility Service Group to discuss maintenance of the town’s water tank.

David Bereskin, CEO of Greenville Water said their Buy-in proposal of 300,000 gallons per day was based on a maximum day usage resulting in an estimated average annual usage of 9 million gallons.

Pelzer officials said they thought their average usage was around 150,000 gpd, however according to Greenville Water Engineer Dennis Porter, this amount was exceeded “a lot.”

Pelzer officials said that closure of the Pelzer Pool this year should also reduce the amount of water the town is using.

Bereskin said that the buy-in would produce longterm savings for the town and allow for additional use in the future.

Bereskin said they wanted to partner with Pelzer and other municipal customers in providing water in anticipation of water needs in 2075 which will exceed current supply.

Bereskin said Pelzer could continue to purchase water with an expected increase of 2 to 3 percent per year with the current rate of 2.82 increasing to 2.85 next year.

An excess usage charge applies if the town exceeds the agreed upon daily usage allocation.

The buy-in results in a simplified rate structure with no variables, Bereskin said. Pelzer’s rate would drop to $1.46 under the new rate structure.

The initial Buy-in is at $2.54 per gallon times the usage per day, estimated at 300,000 gpd by Greenville water, resulting in a buy in of $762,000 for the town.

The amount can be financed by Greenville Water on a payment plan, Bereskin said. The town would finance the total amount over 10 years, with a 3.5 percent interest rate, resulting in an annual financing cost of $90,421.

The agreement would be for 40 years with two automatic extensions of 30 years each.

Following discussion it was decided to review the town’s water usage and recalculate the Buy-in.

Pelzer Town Coyuncil also approved the annexation of two more properties, 37 Adger Street owned by Walter Davis and Joann Davis, and 24 Conner Street owned by Sara Allen.

Andy Tillman, of Utility Service Group presented information on a yearly maintenance plan for the town’s water tower.

Under the agreement, all risk and liability for the town will be transferred from the town to USG. USG will provide all maintenance on the tower including inspections, coatings, repairs and painting when necessary, Tillman said.

Tillman said the average tank requires painting on average every seven to ten years. A washout of the tank is required every three years, with a cost of $3,600 and inspection every year at $1,000 he said.

The agreement will cost the town $7848 yearly. The recent refurbishing of the tower, which is usually needed every 10 to 13 years, cost the town $172,000.

“You won’t have to spend that amount of money again,” he said.

Council unanimously approved the water tower maintenance proposal.

Under citizens input, Roger Scott said he may be interested in purchasing the Pelzer pool property if the town is interested in selling it.

There was some discussion about the cost to the town to fill in the pool as required by DHEC within one year of closing it.

The cost is estimated at $25,000 to $50,000 according to Utility Supervisor Brad West.

Gilbert Garrett said he would like to see the town have a July 4th celebration next year, possibly in conjunction with West Pelzer.