Water headlines Winnsboro updates at intergovernmental meeting

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

June 27, 2014

WINNSBORO — Wholesale water contracts, water system upgrades and the search for sustainable water was the main talking point for the Town of Winnsboro during the recent intergovernmental meeting last week.

Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy noted that the Town of Winnsboro has come to an agreement for the wholesale of water to Mid County Water Company.

Winnsboro nearly cut off service to Mid County after failed attempts to negotiate a long-term deal.

“That can be put on the back burner now,” Gaddy said.

Gaddy announced that council has awarded a bid to install a permanent pump station in Blythewood.

“We’ve got the bids and are getting ready to approve a contract with a company to finish that station to get that water from Columbia,” he said.

According to Town Manager Don Wood the project is ahead of schedule.

“We are predicting in the next six weeks we could probably finish that,” he said during the regular scheduled council meeting on June 17. “They have installed the lines and we’re just waiting on the arrival of the actual pumps.”

The project’s deadline isn’t until November. Invoices for the pump station total $129,000.

Gaddy told his neighboring municipalities and entities that the Town of Winnsboro is still in search of a sustainable water source after a water study was conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers, in which they said to continue buying water from Columbia.

“The county graciously paid for half that study and for the money we spent they told us just to continue doing what we’re doing,” he said. “That really wasn’t what we wanted to hear and we don’t want to be dependent upon Columbia and its rate increases.”

Gaddy informed the assembly that the town is still looking into running a line from Lake Monticello to the reservoir. SCE&G has given the town preliminary approval for up to one million gallons per day.

“It was an amount that allowed the to approve without going to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” Gaddy noted.

Town staff is still studying state revolving funds that apparently can be paid back through joint utilities.

Gaddy informed the government representatives that despite a $15 million budget for water last year, the town only made less than $3,000.

“That certainly wouldn’t be enough to pay off a bond, so we’re looking at possibly altering an ordinance so that it is in compliance with the state revolving funds,” he said. “If we could do that and use revenues from joint utilities we should be able to fund a bond with those revenues. I think that is the best option to find sustainable water without being dependent upon another entity.”

Gaddy also said the Town of Winnsboro approved the town’s FY 2014-2015 budget during the most recent council meeting on June 17.