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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KSL
129825
Points
KSL 08/12/09 - 11:11 pm
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Where is the proof of that,

Where is the proof of that, gr?

Big_vike
1
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Big_vike 08/12/09 - 11:16 pm
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If its yellow let it mellow,

If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down, that out to save you a buck or two. Don't think for a minute I that I like what Avondale has done to that town, you didn't see one politician protecting the textile workers for a second, but they all fell over each other to protect the auto industry. My point, when we go through annual increases every year for our water, and we hear about whats going on there we initially said "thats wrong" and then NBC Augusta goes out and interviews someone whose complaint is "I can't fill my pool" and then we find out that your rates have been artificially kept down for 28 years, it ticks alot of us off, especially in this economy. You have to be able to see that, wether you have a college degree or not.

Carefree
0
Points
Carefree 08/12/09 - 11:18 pm
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You'll get it KSL don't worry

You'll get it KSL don't worry this issue won't go away quietly and as for proof i know for a fact aiken standard has copies of my water bills for the last six months. Don't worry KSL we'll all be giving you guys all the proof you need. Have you ever seen so many residents come up with the same complaint at one time without proof that the problem is real?Why don't you ask our Aiken County sherriff about his $800 dollar bill! Oh trust me there is lots of voices you haven't heard yet.

Carefree
0
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Carefree 08/12/09 - 11:20 pm
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I finally agree with you Big

I finally agree with you Big Vike i hope you won't take offense to it though if you visit me cause trust me it's mellowing at those high prices. I don't have a college degree by the way i didn't know if you were keeping count?

jpgeorgia
0
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jpgeorgia 08/13/09 - 12:53 am
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hey, people of Graniteville.

hey, people of Graniteville. My water bill last month was $26. I have a septic tank, though. Most do not, but I think my bill would be $50 if I had sewer. Oh, yes. I live in Columbia County.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/13/09 - 01:41 am
0
0
The rates seem pretty high

The rates seem pretty high but then again, no increase in 28 years. Bottom line, this is a private company and no private company should be forced to provide a service for a consumer. Yes, under the Obama administration every American is begining to feel entitled to something for nothing and maybe the government will step in here and give money to reduce the bills. The situation sux, no doubt about it but you can't expect a private company to provide you a service for less than it costs them - the government shouldn't do it either. Avondale could simply shut down the service due to lack of funding.

KSL
129825
Points
KSL 08/13/09 - 04:33 am
0
0
I have had a $400 water bill.

I have had a $400 water bill. Would have been higher if I had had sewer. It was about 4 or 5 years ago when I had a much prettier yard, greener grass, etc.

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