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L-EWA may purchase site for new headquarters

Posted: November 13, 2014 5:35 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2014 1:00 a.m.

The Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority (L-EWA) is looking to purchase land for future expansion.

During its Nov. 6 meeting, the L-EWA Board of Directors passed a motion allowing General Manager Mike Hancock to look into purchasing a property across the street from the L-EWA’s current office.

“When this building was built in 1972, the amount of residents and industry at the time was absolutely nothing compared to what it is now,” Board Chairman Charles Everett said.

Everett said he believed the proposed property is at a better location and would provide better potential for a financial investment. Everett also suggested the authority’s current property could either be sold or used to store equipment.

The potential property purchase came up because of a bond issue, explained L-EWA Attorney Jay Bender.

“In the process, the question has come up (of) what is the purpose of the bond issue in addition to refunding,” Bender said. “There has been a discussion of the potential purchase of land for a new facility/office center and if we want to include this in the bond issue.”

However, the board decided it does not want to borrow money to pay for the property and, therefore, would not include it in the bond.

In other business, Kevin Mosteller of HDR Engineering Inc. and Barry Gullet, director of Charlotte-Mecklenberg Utlities and chair of the Catawba-Wateree Management Group presented a water supply master plan to board members. Mosteller and Gullet made a similar presentation to Camden City Council in August.

The goal of the plan is to extend the river basin’s maximum water output beyond its current 2050 mark.

“We (should) understand what the limitations of the water supply source are and what we can do to make it last longer and serve all of us better throughout the region,” Gullet said.

The Catawba-Wateree River Basin begins in North Carolina and comes into the Midlands of South Carolina. The Lugoff-Elgin region is at the base of the basin.

“We looked at what is the best planning case … and what we can do to extend the water yield further out into the future,” Mosteller said.

The water supply plan analyzes population growth and projects what the water needs of that population might be.

The key recommendation of the plan is for the L-EWA to work towards a 15 percent decrease of water use by residential users during the next 50 years.

“If we can do the things recommended in this model and we don’t have a drought worse than the one in 2007, then we can buy the region 50 more years which would push that mark (of maximum output) out into the next century,” Mosteller said.

Board members asked if the lower usage goal included industrial sites.

Mosteller said it would not and there is a separate recommendation for industrial sites.

Board members also asked how the report estimated the area’s water needs.

Mosteller said water needs data was from the previous four to five years, breaking down water usage based on location and water use over time.

The board unanimously adopted a resolution accepting the master plan.

In other business, Hancock asked the board to consider increasing the charge for sewer meter reading to 90 cents per reading for the Kershaw County Sewer System for the next fiscal year which will begin July 2015. Hancock said he was making the request because of an increase in the cost of meter reading technology. Following a brief discussion, a majority of the board voted to increase the charge.

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