A water plant and an agreement
INTO 2021: Water plant, Greenville agreement position LCWSC in 2020, into new year.
The Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission will go into 2021 with its first water treatment plant project well underway, and with a new agreement with the Greenville Water System providing LCWSC with a $1.2 million payment.
The payment and agreement resolve an issue in Northern Laurens/Southern Greenville Counties dating to 2004. It never has been on the “front burner” until now.
The utility’s board was told last Tuesday that steady progress is being made on the water treatment plant, located on Hwy 221 South, and on the raw water intake, located just off Hwy 72, the road that connects Clinton and Greenwood. Fabrication on-site at a new water tank on Milam Road will start soon, the report said. Metal pieces are being fabricated in Indiana for shipment to Laurens County. The tank and tower will be assembled on-site and, once completed, the tank and transmission lines to and from it will carry treated water from Lake Greenwood to Joanna.
One of these new lines already is in operation, connecting the Joanna community to a water tank at the Laurens County Hospital. The Milam Road tank is expected to provide extra capacity for this area of central Laurens County. LCWSC will build another tank next year in Hickory Tavern, financed by The Capital Initiative 1-cent sales tax increase approved by Laurens County voters on Nov. 3 (one of 16 projects).
The new Milam Road Tank will be 500,000 gallons.
LCWSC continues to grow, the board was told - 12 new water taps in November for a total of 168 this fiscal year, and $7 million in contributed capital-grants over the past 3 years.
“Next year we will emphasize sewer for growth,” said Executive Director Jeff Field.
The Greenville agreement keeps LCWSC in the hunt for more growth in Southern Greenville County.
The Greenville economic development agency built an industrial area near Simpsonville, and then it was realized the area was inside LCWSC territory. A 16-inch water line to the area, and a nearby cleared tract for a new townhomes development, already had been installed. Field said LCWSC had no intention to install infrastructure in this area, so Greenville Water System asked for the territory to be deeded to it, from LCWSC.
LCWSC agreed in exchange for a sum of $1.2 million, and guarantees that strengthen its claim to future development in this area (near the new Fox Hill Industrial Park). LCWSC also has water and sewer connections to The Connexial Center, a Laurens County industrial area nearby. LCWSC has three water tanks in this area - Owings Industrial, Greenpond and the Bethany Water Tank.
But, Field said, many lines in the affected area are “dead-end” and now LCWSC will not have the cost of maintaining these lines. It will lose some customers, but the loss of revenue will not have a substantial negative impact on LCWSC’s bond resolution, the board was told.
Another area on Hwy 25, which connects Greenwood to Greenville, also is being handed over to the Greenville Water System. This involves homes around the Twin Chimneys Landfill.
LCWSC buys its water from the City of Clinton, Laurens CPW and the Greenville Water System, although the new Lake Greenwood Water Treatment Plant could have an impact on those amounts.
Field said, “We are waiting on a decision to buy more capacity from Greenville Water until the Lake Greenwood plant comes on-line.”