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Orangeburg’s Department of Public Utilities is proposing a $105 million budget for the upcoming year, including a natural gas price increase.

During a meeting last week, Orangeburg City Council approved first reading of DPU’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which beings Oct. 1, 2018.

The amended gas rates will be announced at Tuesday’s Orangeburg City Council meeting.

During the upcoming year, the utility company projects revenue of almost $105 million and expenses of more than $91 million.

The utility plans to transfer a total of $5.6 million of its net income to the City of Orangeburg’s general fund.

The department also announced upcoming capital projects for the following divisions:

Administrative Division

• A new operations center will be built at 350 Sprinkle Avenue. The total cost of the project is $7.5 million. To date, $200,000 has been spent on the project, and $300,000 will be spent on the project during FY 2018-19. DPU Manager Warren Harley stated that the utility is proposing to borrow money for the project.

• The administrative division is seeking to purchase a standby backup generator for the main DPU office located at 106 Russell Street. The total cost for the project is $600,000, with $100,000 already being spent to date. For the upcoming fiscal year, $500,000 will be spent on the project.

Electric Division

• A 115 Kv transmission line will be extended to substation 10, which is located on Highway 601 in front of Koyo. The project includes the installation of 13 transmission poles. The total cost of the project is $1.9 million, with $722,000 to be spent during the upcoming fiscal year.

• Substation 10 is being rebuilt. Wade Holmes, director of the electric division, said that the project is 95 percent complete. It will be able to provide backup for several substations, and be able to sustain future development along Highway 601, according to Holmes. The total cost of the project is $7.4 million, with $510,000 to be spent during the upcoming fiscal year.

• Street lights will be upgraded to LED lighting along U.S. Highway 301 and Five Chop Road. The project is 95 percent complete, according to Holmes. According to Holmes, 100 street lights will be upgraded, making them 40 percent more efficient. The total cost of this project is $230,000, with $20,000 to be spent for the upcoming fiscal year.

• Substation 18, which is located on Cannon Bridge Road, is being rebuilt. The total cost of the project is $6.2 million, with $955,000 to be spent in the upcoming fiscal year.

• Substation 1, which is located on Bull Street, is being rebuilt. Holmes stated that the substation serves 2,000 DPU customers. The total cost of the project is $2.9 million, with $1.2 million to be spent in the upcoming fiscal year.

• Substation 12, which is located on Berry Street, is being rebuilt. This substation provides backup to Substation 1 and vice versa, according to Holmes. The total cost of the project is $2.9 million, and nothing will be spent on the project for the upcoming fiscal year.

Gas Division

• Natural gas lines along Highway 33 will be replaced. Dave Durgin, director of the gas division, said the project will replace approximately 10,500 feet of gas pipe on the highway, starting at Old Cameron Road. The total cost of the project is $590,000, and the entire cost will be spent in the upcoming fiscal year.

• Natural gas lines along Russell Street will be replaced. Durgin stated that approximately 7,500 feet of gas pipe will be replaced. The total cost of the project is $540,000, and the entire cost will be spent during the upcoming fiscal year.

Water Division

• The division will replace 1-inch water main along Shillings Bridge Road. Water Division Director Eric Odom stated that the project consists of approximately 10,000 feet of 10-inch PVC water main from the intersection of Highway 4 to Lake Edisto Road. The total cost of the project is $800,000, with $764,000 expected to be spent in the upcoming fiscal year.

• The division is upgrading the utility’s 1954 high-service pump station, engine-driven pump station and a chlorine scrubber. The total cost of the project is $2.9 million, with $2.8 million to be spent in the upcoming fiscal year.

Wastewater Division

The division plans to replace the utility’s biosolids dryer. The total cost of the project is $5.2 million, and the entire cost will be spent during the upcoming fiscal year.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516.

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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