Orangeburg County Council approved first reading of an ordinance last week that that will increase the county’s water rates.
The ordinance establishes a new structure for water and sewer service charges, water and sewer tap fees, deposits and all other fees and charges for commercial and industrial customers of the county.
“This is a part of water fees that we have to abide by, that we have to charge. It’s determined based upon the fact that we have USDA and other loans backing our systems,” Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said.
“From time to time, the conditions of the different loans and the other conditions that we use and amend from other parts of the system also require us to change our fee in regards to how we are charged through other agencies,” he said.
Young said the rate increase is partly based on the cost of service.
“The other part of it is our fees and fine structure, based upon the loans we get to back us, says the system has to be able to sustain itself. So, we had to increase the rates based upon the amount it cost to service the citizens that we sell water to,” Young said.
Young said, “DPU raised their rates on us wholesale, so we have to raise ours.”
“We sell water direct, and then we wholesale water as well. So, what we have to do is like when we wholesale water to somebody and we get it from DPU, if they raise their rates we have to raise ours,” Young stated.
In other business:
• Council approved a resolution that authorizes the waiver of the county’s right to repurchase a parcel of land at an industrial park.
“We build an industrial park. We first buy the land, and then we give it to companies as an incentive to locate here. Whenever that company leaves, what we ask is that we get the first right to buy it back just in case they choose not to redevelop it, so that our industrial park doesn’t sit empty,” Young said.
The property is owned by The Orchard Clemson-Orangeburg LLC., KCC Orangeburg LLC and Blt-O707 LLC.
Young noted that the property was sold to another industry.
• Council approved a resolution adopting the Orangeburg County Information Technology policies, procedures and standards and revising the employee handbook to include the violation of the policies, procedures and standards as the basis for disciplinary action.
• Council approved second reading of a zoning ordinance that changes the zoning of property located at 491 Frederic Street in Orangeburg from residential general to commercial general.
• Council approved the Orangeburg County Budget Calendar for FY 2020.
• Council appointed City of Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler to the Lower Savannah Council of Governments Board of Directors.
• Council approved third reading of an amendment to the Orangeburg County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to add a section regarding areas reasonably safe from flooding.
• Clemson Extension made a presentation, introducing new 4-H agent Glenna Mason and new Area Forestry Agent Janet Steele. Mason stated she has been working for the Clemson Extension since June 2018, and Steele began working with the extension in December 2018.
• Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith gave an overview of the liter committee’s last meeting.
Cooper-Smith stated that according to the county litter survey, council districts one and two are the most littered. She also announced that the countywide litter cleanup effort will take place from April 13 to April 27.