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KCC to receive Palmetto Utilities update

Posted: August 21, 2015 2:49 p.m.
Updated: August 24, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council will receive an update on due diligence the county is performing in regards to a request from a Richland County-based utility to increase its wastewater discharge capacity.

Palmetto Utilities, which maintains a facility near Elgin treating sewage coming primarily from Richland County, has filed an application with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to increase its allowed discharge capacity into the Wateree River.

Palmetto does not currently discharge wastewater into either the Wateree River or Spears Creek, where its Elgin plant is located. Currently, the treatment plant discharges into sand pits.

Even though it does not discharge into either the creek or river, Palmetto holds a DHEC permit to discharge up to 12 million gallons per day (mgd) of wastewater into the Wateree River basin and 6 mgd into Spears Creek specifically. The utility is seeking to increase its potential discharge into the river basin from 12 mgd to 18 mgd, and its potential discharge into Spears Creek from 6 mgd to 12 mgd.

In an Aug. 18 memo to council attached to Tuesday’s proposed agenda, County Attorney Ken DuBose points to council’s ability to oppose the discharge increase “to preserve the health, well-being and environmental assets of Kershaw County.”

Palmetto Utilities submitted a similar application in 2014 but withdrew after opposition from council. DuBose’s memo also said the utility has repaired Crab Apple Lane, a road near the plant that was damaged by water seepage from the treatment facility.

Also Tuesday, council will consider the second of three readings of an ordinance approving tax incentives for an economic development endeavor still being referred to as “Project Picture.” The project is described as a $72 million expansion to an existing Kershaw County business that is expected to add 410 new full-time jobs to the workforce. Thursday, Haier America announced an expansion with those exact details at its Camden plant. The “fee-in-lieu-of-taxes” agreement is commonly used to entice businesses to locate or expand within the county and offer the business tax breaks on their property taxes. 

Council will also hold a public hearing and vote on third and final reading of an ordinance officially adopting the tax millage rate for the current fiscal year that began July.

Other items on the agenda include:

• A resolution congratulating Harvest Hope Food Bank for bringing awareness to the issue of hunger in South Carolina and to recognize Hunger Awareness and Action Month. Brian Mayes, director of the Kershaw County Boys & Girls Clubs’ Jackson Teen Center is also on the agenda to make a presentation.

• Council will continue a discussion opened during its Aug. 11 meeting on financing future economic development projects. Council directed County Administrator Vic Carpenter to prepare various scenarios for economic development infrastructure projects along with the anticipated cost for each.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Kershaw County Government Center, 115 Walnut St., Camden. The meeting is open to the public.

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