2302 June 5 - 

Williamston Town Council decided not to take responsibility for a privately owned sewer system serving the Forest Hills subdivision located just outside the town limits during their regular meeting June 3.

Acting on a request by Paul Lewis of Goldie and Associates Engineering Firm, Council voted against accepting responsibility for the privately owned sewer lagoon.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the matter was not new and has been brought before Council periodically about every four years since the subdivision was built in the 1980s.

Clardy said he would like to see closure on the matter and that the Town and sewer facility owners had several options to consider.

According to a report by the engineering firm, options for the Town included: acquire the system and lagoon; allow the current owners to build a lift station paid to pump sewage to the Town’s system for treatment and close the lagoon or allow another entity to run the facility with the Town accepting the sewer and billing for treatment from a meter.

Other options included having the current owners continue responsibility for the system and make necessary improvements or provide septic tanks systems for the residents and close the lagoon.

Clardy pointed out that the system is not a new facility and it is not presently in compliance with DHEC.

He said the Shorebrook situation in which residents have no sewer service is also a consideration for the Town.

Forest Hills subdivision residents have met twice with Town officials and with the lagoon owner, Jeff Ellison/J. C. Cox Utilities, to look at options associated with the sewer operation.

A request was made at the last meeting of Council for the town to consider accepting operations of the facility.

Clardy said the system services approximately 38 homes in the subdivision. He said flow is sufficient; however, there are problems with the internal process that has the system out of DHEC compliance.

Clardy said the town has the option of annexation and there is land contingent to the subdivision that could be developed in the future; however, an upgrade of the system may be needed to service the additional 100 lots that are available.

He said residents are willing to pay to bring the system up to standard.

Clardy posed several questions during his commnets on the sitution.

“Should the town have to bear the burden to service future development in the area,” Clardy asked.

“Is it the responsibility of the developer to provide service. Will sewage be available to the future development?” Clardy asked. “Should the town be involved at all?”

He also said that if the Town accepted the sewage treatment, Forest Hills residents will see an 85 percent increase in water bills, upon which sewer rates are based.

Another option is annexation of the area.

“We have received no petition for annexation,” Clardy said.

“I am considerate of residents within the town that we have a responsibility and obligation to,” Clardy said.

Lewis told Council that it was not feasible for the town to take over the lagoon and he hoped the town would consider the offer of a lift station being built by the facility owner, with the Town accepting sewage for treatment.

Clardy said there are also questions of relieving the developer of the responsibility and costs of the system and said the Town will have to consider the impact on old sewer lines within the city limits.

He said while the offer of a lift station is attractive, “One repair could cost the Town the income from one year of operating the system.”

Clardy stated that the Forest Hills subdivision residents have said, “Don’t do this. We don’t want the Town to take it.”

Councilman Jimmy Rogers said that the Town should take care of the citizens residing inside the town first.

“We have citizens in town that do not have sewer service, yet are paying city taxes,” he aid.

“We should take care of our citizens who are taxpayers first.”

Council unanimously approved a motion made by Rogers not to accept the request.

In other business, Council approved a request by Willie May Hunt of Mattison St. to help with a block fun day at Brookdale Park. Council agreed to help with the fun day set for Fri., June 28.

Council also approved a request by a local AA chapter to meet in a room at the Municipal Center.

Council approved a seven year franchise fee contract with Duke Energy at a rate of 3 percent of billing.

Lt. Col. Mike Creamer, chairman of the Sesquicentennial Committee updated Council on the 150th celebration.

Planned events include a Freedom Celebration from 10 a.m. until midnight on June 29. The event will include music, games, food, fireworks display, and a chaparoned dance for ages 12 and up on the tennis courts area of Mineral Spring Park.

Other activities include a sock hop/Main St. cruise on July 19; Spring Water Festival Aug. 24; Community Memorial Service on Sept. 8; a formal dinner in Oct.; Veteran’s Day parade on Nov. 11; and Christmas Parade on Dec. 7.

The committee is also selling souvenirs and memorial flags.

Acting on a motion by Councilman David Harvell, Council agreed to support the activities presented by the committee.

Council also decided to dis-annex a portion of property on Tripp St.

The property is at the entrance to a planned development, most of which lies outside the Town limit. Water service to the development is under Big Creek Water Company jurisdiction, Clardy said.

Council also approved proposed changes to the Town’s land use and development standards and zoning ordinances, which will be upgraded by incorporating Anderson County standards with the current ordinances.

Council went into executive session to discuss proposed contractual arrangements and policies and procedures.

Upon returning to regular session, Council agreed to seek a contract with attorneys representing the Town.

Council also agreed to allow the park amphitheatre to be used for a program on Sept. 8 and agreed to allow Riverside Nursing Home in Piedmont, to use the Municipal Center for an awards program on June 20.

Council will hold a work session to look at equipment and facilities at 4 p.m. Friday, June 7.

Councilman Harvell asked if a peddler’s license could be made available for a three month period at $30. He also mentioned problems with break-ins at Main St. Motors.

Councilman Wade Pepper asked about the walking track on Gray Drive. Clardy said the Town must take up asphalt and repave and Duke will add lights.

Dr. Mackey asked about the rough pavement on Main St. Clardy said SCDOT will probably resurface the road.



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