Water company discusses finances, billing
by Kevin Boozer Staff Writer
JENKINSVILLE — At the October meeting of the Jenkinsville Water Company, its board highlighted JWC’s stable finances.
Company President Gregory Ginyard noted that the company’s new well had paid for itself within a year by reducing the company’s dependence upon and bill to Mid-County Water.
The company’s trucks are nearly paid for and at Ginyard’s request the board agreed to purchase an 8x10 building to store chlorine separate from other materials, a DHEC recommendation. The recommendation will become a DHEC requirement in 2015 and the board agreed to stay ahead of the curve in compliance on that issue.
Several customers expressed concerns related to their water bills. One woman, who asked not to be named, had been without water since Thursday. She had a leak resulting in a bill of more than $500 and she had used up her company issued yearly leak adjustment in November 2012.
She could not pay the bill at that time and requested an exception be made. Ginyard told her he did not have the authority to make an exception in her case and turn her water back on, but he said he could take the matter before the board, which happened to meet the following Monday. Due to when the calendar fell, she had to wait for a hearing.
Ginyard said that typically if a customer is late paying that water is turned off the first of the month and the water company meets the first Monday of the month, so the dates coincide. According to Ginyard this minimizes the time a customer who has missed a payment has to get by without JWC water. Ginyard said as soon as payment is made that the water is turned back on.
Ginyard requested that an exception be made for the member since she was just a month away from a new yearly “clock” entitling her to an annual leak adjustment. After meeting in executive session to discuss legal matters pertaining to a slander lawsuit and to discuss contractual matters, the board entered regular session and voted 8-0 to grant the leak adjustment and set up a payment plan for the member.
Member Matt Mattoon questioned why the company does not have electronic bill payment. Board members including Tangee Jacobs said they would consider e-pay but that their number one goal was not increasing rates for customers. The board agreed to take the matter under consideration.
Another customer requested the board notify customers, particularly those who are in good standing and pay their bills on time, prior to water being turned off. Ginyard said the computer system and office procedures did not provide the resources to notify 800 members if their water was to be turned off and that if one member was given a special advance notice all would have to receive one, in fairness.
The next meeting of the Jenkinsville Water Company is at 6 p.m. Nov. 4.
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