PSC meets today on Graniteville and Vaucluse rates

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The South Carolina Public Service Commission will again address new water and sewer rates for Graniteville and Vaucluse residents at a 2 p.m. meeting today.

On Aug. 5 the PSC voted to temporarily suspend the new rates pending today's meeting. The new rates, which were approved by the PSC in June, were requested by Avondale Mills, the company that oversees the Graniteville water system. Avondale officials argued that since mill operations ceased in the area they had been losing money subsidizing the water system. They said the rate increases were needed to help the company break even, adding that customers were given a 60-day notice and there were two public meetings on the topic.

But state Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warrenville, said residents didn't know when the new rates would be enforced and didn't have time to adjust their usage before they received the first bills reflecting the higher rate on July 31. In some cases, bills were hundreds of dollars higher.

Mr. Smith and at least a couple of Graniteville residents plan to be at today's meeting. Avondale officials have said they might have a lawyer present.

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