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City earned it’s ‘A’ rating

Posted: September 25, 2012 12:17 p.m.
Updated: September 26, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Recently, you received a letter which discussed the city’s recent announcement of its “A” bond rating. The writer implied that the city’s sound financial position had been accomplished on the back of its utility customers because there is a transfer of money from the utility account to the general account every year in the amount of $2.066 million. The writer implied that this amount came from recent increased utility rates. Yes, there have been recent increases, but that is solely caused by (the) increased cost of the purchase of electricity from Progress Energy because of their increased cost due to higher energy costs to produce electricity. (Who hasn’t seen that increase at the gas pump?) Our electricity rates are very competitive with the other significant distributors in this area with only one significant distributor having a lower rate. Also, DHEC has required the city to build a new sewer plant at a cost of $35 million.

The truth is that the transfer from the utility fund to the general fund has not been increased since 1993 and, in fact, was reduced in 2006 by more than $100,000. Approximately one-half of the transfer is a reimbursement to the general fund for costs incurred on behalf of the utility fund.

The trust is that as a result of sound management and policy making, you have a city which has a sound financial position both in the general fund and the utility fund; your real property taxes are lower by far than any of the county seats in the surrounding six counties; and, as I pointed out in my last letter to the editor, real property taxes have not been raised in the last four years.



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