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L-EWA updates bank accounts
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The Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority (L-EWA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the opening of a new brokerage bank account to handle the authority’s investment securities. The motion passed during the board’s Sept. 6 meeting.

L-EWA General Manager Mike Hancock made the request to open the new account at First Citizens and said it would be similar to a brokerage account already held at Edward Jones. Attorney Jay Bender outlined the specific reasons for the account change.

“State law requires that investment accounts be held in institutions insured by FDIC,” Bender explained. “This satisfies that requirement. I have changed the certificate of the court with the secretary to reflect that this is a political body and not a corporation. But what we would need is a motion to authorize the opening of the account.

“Jones is not FDIC insured,” Bender continued when asked why opening the second account is necessary. “The certificates of deposit held by Jones are insured, but a strict interpretation of state law is that Jones is not a bank and not authorized to hold our investment securities (certificates of deposit). To come into unquestioned compliance of the law we want to move our account to First Citizens, but because there is a financial penalty for early termination of the CD we are just going to wait until it matures and then roll it into that account.”

A motion was made to authorize the opening of the account and was passed by unanimous vote.

Also during the Sept. 6 meeting, Hancock issued a report covering drought conditions, projects and preparations for L-EWA’s annual meeting, which took place Tuesday.

Hancock said the authority’s drought condition is at Stage Zero, which is an improvement from the previous report. According to Hancock, L-EWA’s reservoirs are now up to 100 percent; the four-month long-term average stream flow has increased; and the three-month drought index is up.

“Our projects Dru Lane and Madi Way have been completed today,” Hancock said. “However, the documents on those projects are still pending. The engineering firm (Brown and Caldwell) will have a recommendation for us next month for the plant valve line needs contracted for that.”

He also said that preparations for Tuesday’s annual meeting included notifying local newspapers and that notices were printed on customers’ bills. The meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity Baptist Church and expected to include elections for open seats currently held by Clyde Smith and Joel Schmalzel as well as the unexpired term for a seat held by the late Vince Halter.

The C-I will have a report on the annual meeting in Friday’s edition.