West Pelzer approves Greenville Water contract

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By Stan Welch

Following several months of tweaking of contractual language and meetings with representatives of the Greenville Water Company, West Pelzer Town Council voted unanimously to accept a proposed purchase agreement that will insure the Town both adequate capacity for its future needs as well as lower costs for water.

Greenville Water, with assurances of the level of need anticipated in the future, can more accurately proceed with its applications for permits to withdraw water from its various sources. DHEC approves and issues those permits.

The Council voted some time back to accept the proposal, pending some changes and assurances by Greenville Water. In the meantime, Councilman Robert Alexander resigned, necessitating a special election just before the end of the year.

Councilman Donnie Jeanes was elected to fill Alexander’s seat; and Mayor Paxton chose to delay the final vote until Jeanes could study the proposal for himself. The basics of the agreement require West Pelzer to increase its purchase to 150 thousand gallons a day. The agreement also lowers the bulk cost of the water purchased, and requires Greenville Water to finance the original buy-in costs.

Those costs will be financed over a ten year period, after which a significant reduction in water costs will benefit the town. The agreement has a forty year term, with two additional optional renewals for forty years and thirty years, respectively.

Greenville Water representative Dennis Porter explained that the crux of the minor changes made essentially reduced the size of any future incremental purchases by the town from fifty thousand gallons a day to twenty five thousand gallons.

The Council also voted unanimously Monday night to accept and approve the 2013-2014 audit of the Town’s finances. A representative from Byerly, Payne, and White, CPA met with various council members prior to the meeting, in order to explain the report and answer any questions.