State panel restores increases in Graniteville water rates

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009 2:48 PM
Last updated 4:05 PM
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COLUMBIA -- It does not appear Graniteville residents will get lower water rates, despite the efforts of local lawmakers.

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Linda Hodges and her husband Ken, of Vaucluse, speak with Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken, outside the hearing room. On Wednesday, the S.C. Public Service Commission voted to reimpose Avondale Mills' higher rates, which had caused the Hodges' water bill to increase from $5.05 to $69.  Sarita Chourey/ Morris News Service
Sarita Chourey/ Morris News Service
Linda Hodges and her husband Ken, of Vaucluse, speak with Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken, outside the hearing room. On Wednesday, the S.C. Public Service Commission voted to reimpose Avondale Mills' higher rates, which had caused the Hodges' water bill to increase from $5.05 to $69.

The state Public Service Commission decided this afternoon to return the water rates to the higher levels that had alarmed many residents when they got their latest bills.

The panel took the action after negotiations between Avondale Mills and local lawmakers could not provide a compromise.

Last week 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.

The PSC does not have another meeting scheduled until October.

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The Ode
2
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The Ode 08/12/09 - 02:51 pm
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The rate is the rate is the

The rate is the rate is the rate. These people never complained when they were being subsidized by a private business for 28 years but now they want to complain when they have to pay the actual operating costs for a VOLUNTARY service they purchase from a private company.........awww that hypocrisy is smelling awfully ripe on this humid summer day.

storiesihaveread
358
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storiesihaveread 08/12/09 - 03:01 pm
0
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Figures the little person

Figures the little person gets screwed again by big brother.

diverkd
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diverkd 08/12/09 - 03:21 pm
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Wow! The missteps by both the

Wow! The missteps by both the residents and the company astound me.

Fiat_Lux
15043
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Fiat_Lux 08/12/09 - 03:21 pm
0
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Odious, they didn't sign on

Odious, they didn't sign on for big rates. Avondale Mills agreed to cover their costs. The deal was with the company employing so much of the community. It's ridiculous to expect them to take over for an international corporation when they has lost virtually all their community's source of income. Heartless and as callous as you apparently are, surely you can think things out a little better before spouting off. This PSC fiasco might well presage the demise of a very old town.

The Ode
2
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The Ode 08/12/09 - 03:30 pm
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If they didn't sign up for it

If they didn't sign up for it then they can drop the service today. Go dig a well and put in a septic tank. Nothing is stopping them. America is still a somewhat free country.

Carefree
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 03:31 pm
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For sale my home in

For sale my home in Graniteville Nice two bedroom house with water rates that top any surrounding areas or states! You will be welcome by the asbestos in the air left over from the clean up that didn't occur when avondale left the toxic leftovers of a company they didn't know how to run. Dead birds are a luxury we only get them from time to time due to chlorine train wreck that poured out into our environment. Hey you'll enjoy lots of comments about your town from outsiders who are lucky to have water that doesn't contain asbestos like yours will. Come bath in the luxury of asbestos filled water and air complimented by death. It's a home away from home!

The Ode
2
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The Ode 08/12/09 - 03:32 pm
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Well this demise of

Well this demise of Graniteville you speak of would be the first step in cleaning up the Valley then.

Carefree
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 03:35 pm
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I guess you hate

I guess you hate blacks,hispanics, whites, people from "The Valley" hey you just don't pick and choose you're pretty much a bigot all the way around.THE ODE

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 08/12/09 - 03:43 pm
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I think it is time for

I think it is time for everyone to move.

DEVGRU
0
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DEVGRU 08/12/09 - 03:45 pm
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Graniteville has running

Graniteville has running water???

Carefree
0
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 03:46 pm
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Weldon Wyatt Development and

Weldon Wyatt Development and Fine Deering and those that supported the TIF in 2005 and pocketed campaign money from it are not taking my home without a fight! Does anyone remember Erin Brockovich well you're going to remember the town of Graniteville when it's over.

The Ode
2
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The Ode 08/12/09 - 03:49 pm
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I just hate hypocrites and

I just hate hypocrites and the parasites who can't and won't take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Those people do not comprise a specific race or religion or political party. Sorry to burst your bubble. Try being accountable for yourself for a change and see how it works out for ya.

Carefree
0
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 03:50 pm
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Boring the ode out of the

Boring the ode out of the over 200 comments you post to cause trouble i figured you would have worked out the boring ones by now!

Gleep
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Gleep 08/12/09 - 05:04 pm
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Did I read somewhere that the

Did I read somewhere that the rates have been the same since 1981? 28 years without a rate increase?

saintlover
0
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saintlover 08/12/09 - 05:07 pm
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Water and flush toilets?

Water and flush toilets?

obamtheflimflamman
0
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obamtheflimflamman 08/12/09 - 05:08 pm
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Dig a well! If you can't

Dig a well! If you can't afford it, obamtheflimflam will have the govn't dig one for you.

GACopperhead
6
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GACopperhead 08/12/09 - 05:26 pm
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I want to waste as much water

I want to waste as much water as I want, and I don't want to pay for it. Whaaa, whaa........60 days and 2 meeting about it. the PSC and Avondale are not to blame for lazy, wasteful people not believing the notices that they got. No sympathy for you........

ProudToBeFromGraniteville
0
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ProudToBeFromGraniteville 08/12/09 - 05:44 pm
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OK I have had about ENOUGH of

OK I have had about ENOUGH of this! I am from Graniteville and have been all of my life! We are not dumb rednecks or PARASITES!! I am a college graduate, my spouse and I both have well-paying jobs, we pay our mortage and we live in a nice neighborhood. First of all, we did get notices and the meetings were CANCELLED! I am not lazy or wasteful... do you call showering and flushing toilets, watering grass 3 times per week WASTEFUL?! My bill was $342. Do any of you Columbia or Richmond County or anywhere else in Aiken County for that matter pay that much for water? Corporate greed got us in the situation we are in right now. Graniteville has a lot of history - it would be a big loss to the area if we do not survive.

Carefree
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 05:55 pm
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Thank you

Thank you ProudToBeFromGraniteville! I second that lets stop stepping lightly around the real issue that apparently if you are from Richmond or Columbia county you don't get. You may be use to living in corrupt governments that control every aspect of your life but heads up we aren't going to let these communist tyrants dictate to us when we can and can't flush our own crapping toilet!Now is that valley enough for you!

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 08/12/09 - 05:55 pm
0
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This is exactly why you

This is exactly why you cannot realistically privatize everything. It works when there is competition, and I mean real competition. Unfortunately water is not a want. It is a need. When a business has a monopoly. Maybe if executives of companies like Avondale or say Enron were public tried and executed some of these rich aholes would think twice before ruining the lives of money so they can have even more riches. There is no accountability. The middle class of this country is being driven down.

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 08/12/09 - 05:58 pm
0
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For me, last month's columbia
Unpublished

For me, last month's columbia county water bill ran $56. That's with 2 people in the house and the sprinklers running 3 times a week.

The Ode
2
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The Ode 08/12/09 - 05:58 pm
0
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What is the name of this

What is the name of this "nice neighborhood" in Graniteville where you live?

Carefree
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 05:59 pm
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Gleep did you also read that

Gleep did you also read that their is asbestos in the pipes and that most of us buy our drinking water elsewhere? Did you also read that most of these meters are over 40 years old? Did you also read that they haven't read most of our meters in probably that long? Is anyone paying attention cause the PSC sure isn't!

Carefree
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 06:01 pm
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For the last month with 2

For the last month with 2 adults and one child living in our home with no outside watering only taking baths, washing clothes and flushing toilets my water bill was $146 TrukinRanger. Imagine if i had to turn on water outside!

Carefree
0
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 06:14 pm
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It's not enough that we've

It's not enough that we've faced major tragedy as a community in the last few years and that lives were lost that can't be replaced. It's not enough that the jobs left and now all that is left is broken down buildings. They now want to force us out. They want to break our spirit the one thing that's left after everything. Residents of Graniteville i am so proud to call you friends and neighbors what we have endured together as a community and what we fight for now no one can take away from us. We can be bad mouthed and torn down by outsiders but we are family and we are friends and we are neighbors and we are community. Today's society has forgotten what it's like to find home not just in a house but in everything that is around them. We will not give up we will endure!

Big_vike
1
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Big_vike 08/12/09 - 06:57 pm
0
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Well, your not a "company

Well, your not a "company town" anymore, it got cheaper to make textiles elsewhere so now what? and Avondale can't absorb your costs anymore. Obviously there was some truth to what they were saying since the rates are staying the same. Maybe it wouldn't have been such a shock if your rates had risen every year like the rest of us. And you can stop holding the Graniteville tragedy over our heads, and expecting everyone to treat you with kid gloves, as bad as it was for you as a community it doesn't release you from your obligations to pay for the services you use. Tell us about how little water you use, I still see the guy on the news last week crying about how his tropical Garden is going to die, the one that he uses 45000 gallons a month on, thats more water that I use in 7 months so SHUT UP!

Fiat_Lux
15043
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Fiat_Lux 08/12/09 - 07:12 pm
0
0
OK, Big V. Let something

OK, Big V. Let something outside your choice or control destroy your property's value and endanger your family, your health and your ability to pay for your basic needs, and then be as smug and obnoxious as you are now. I'm sure all the people of Graniteville will just rush to show their sympathy and lend you a hand. You jerk. These are hard working family people with the kind of values and activities that build a community instead of draining it like the blood suckers do who lie around playing checkers or having sex and drinking up their numerous illegitimate offsprings afdc check, and going to the ER whenever they get a hangnail. What hateful people some of you are.

kimsmad
0
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kimsmad 08/12/09 - 07:21 pm
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I'd like to clarify something

I'd like to clarify something to the non-Graniteville posters. Our meters are RARELY ever read. We know this because most of the time our bill is the exact same amount to the penny every month. My husband contacted an Avondale employee who said he wasn't even sure our meter had been read for the past month. Most of us do not dispute that the rate is justified to go up. But how is it reasonable to raise it to an amount that is higher than N.Augusta and Aiken residents pay? Also, what I don't think you understand is that every resident, including myself, was charged for about 5 times more water than we have ever used. We have 3 people in our household, no pool or sprinkler system. We normally use 5,000 gal per month. Our bill said we use 25,000 gal. this past month. We received a $280 bill. Now I ask you, how could we ALL have used 5 times more water than normal all in the SAME month? I think any logical person would agree that something shady was done, like not having read the meter for about 6 months and then checking it last month which would read for a HIGH amount of usage. We are not asking for anything free or special treatment. (Cont)

Big_vike
1
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Big_vike 08/12/09 - 07:22 pm
0
0
Yep, hateful suckin off the

Yep, hateful suckin off the teat jerks, kinda like you idiots who never thought Hmmm, its strange that my water rate hasn't ever been raised for 28 years. Hard working people? sure, with the kind of values that say if I can get something off of someone else's back thats just fine. Save it, I don't care. You were fine when you were being subsidized, guess what? The gravy train jumped the track, your cushy company subsidized life is over, get used to it or move, just don't expect anyone else to have any sympathy for a bunch of whiners watering their grass 3 days a week, I don't water my lawn EVER! and its green, is it that much drier in Graniteville? NO, you slugs got used to using as much water as you wanted cause it was dirt cheap, now your getting yours and in SPADES.

Carefree
0
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 07:24 pm
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It takes several people

It takes several people without a lot of intelligence to believe someone used that much water do the math to at least make yourself look a little smarter!That is over 1000 gallons a day!If you are going to write a comment start with logic!

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