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Palmetto Utilities still seeking KCC endorsement

Posted: August 9, 2014 11:55 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Palmetto Utilities, a Richland County-based utility with facilities in Kershaw County, will be a focus of discussion during Kershaw County Council’s meeting Tuesday evening.

The discussion surrounds yet another request by Palmetto Utilities for council to endorse a permit from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to discharge up to 6 million gallons daily of treated wastewater into Spears Creek in Kershaw County. Palmetto Utilities does not need council’s endorsement, but company President Stan Jones told council in April that he would appreciate their approval.

The bulk of Palmetto Utilities’ customers are in neighboring Richland County. It currently holds a DHEC permit to discharge wastewater into the Wateree River, but has never done so, as it is several miles from the river and a pipeline would have to be built to carry the discharged product. Spears Creek is close to the facility and runs into the Wateree River several miles south of Camden in Sumter County.

In April, some councilmen, C.R. Miles Jr. in particular, had environmental questions and concerns. Miles represents the district where the wastewater plant is located. Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter said Palmetto Utilities is still hoping for council approval of the permit request.

“They have asked that the council support the request,” Carpenter said.

Also under new business, council will discuss amending the county’s regulations on communication towers and antennas. Council approved an ordinance in October 2013 that allows towers, most often used for cellphone service, to be built within 1,000 feet of each other. Many residents, especially in the Lake Wateree area, spoke to council at the time in support of the new regulations, saying cell phone service was unreliable in some areas, a situation that was dangerous in an emergency. Council unanimously passed the ordinance at that time.

Carpenter said the matter has come back up after other concerned residents contacted councilmen protesting the building of towers on property near their own.

“Homeowners are concerned about changes in their neighborhood,” Carpenter said. “There’s a desire to discuss if there’s changes to the ordinance that need to be made.”

Also Tuesday, council will take up third and final readings of eight ordinances pertaining to zoning and land development.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in council’s chamber at the Kershaw County Government Building, 515 Walnut St. in Camden, and is open to the public.

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