Longlea Estates

Clover Herald Article - regarding water & sewage rates


Clover News

Water, sewer rates limit town growth

Kathy Roberts Correspondent

(Published August 15‚ 2002)

Water and sewer rates continue to be of concern to residents living outside the town limits of Clover, and council members say they will continue their efforts to decrease costs, but currently, their hands are tied.

Sales managers and residents of the Longlea subdivision expressed concerns about the rates at Monday night's council meeting.

The Longlea subdivision was developed in September 2001 and is located near Griggs Road Elementary School. It lies on 463 acres with 221 homesites, but so far only 35 homes have been sold. According to Dean Davidson, sales manager for the Longlea and Irishdowns subdivisions in Clover, more properties would have been sold if water rates for outside of town residents were more reasonable.

Davidson spoke to council about the matter at Monday night's council meeting. According to Davidson, home sales in the developments are down because potential buyers are discouraged by the current water rates. He said buyers are already faced with expensive mortgages and the costly expense of water limits their options. He said if growth is to continue in these areas, the town needs to do something to off-set these challenges in the near future. "If growth is what the Clover area wants, then we'll be a player in that growth," he said. "We have the opportunity to stimulate and be a player to bring growth into the area. If we are to continue growth, it would help to have an economic climate to stimulate that growth and I think this will be more difficult if the water rates continue as they are."

Currently the water rates for residents living inside the town are $12.95 for the first 1,999 gallons and $5.18 per 1,000 gallons afterwards. Rates for residents living outside the town are $25.91 for the first 1,999 and $10.38 per 1,000 gallons afterwards. Inside town residents pay a base charge of $14.34 for sewer rates and $3.56 per 1,000 gallons afterwards. Outside of town residents pay a base charge of $28.69 and $7.13 per gallon afterwards.

Roger Davis, Longlea resident, said when he first moved into the subdivision, he was struck with a water bill in excess of $300. He said by taking actions to preserve usage, he has been able to cut down the cost to an average of about $100 per month, but his neighbors who have larger families are not so fortunate. Davis said if the rates continue as they are, the neighborhood will fade away.

"I want to know if, when, and how something is going to be done about this," he said. "I don't see any growth in the area. The neighborhood is dying because no one can afford to live there. We pay two times the rate of those who live within the town. If the town works with us, then we can grow.

"My wife and I have made a ritual of water consumption. We use paper plates to cut down on dishes, place bricks in the tank of the toilet, and we only do laundry once a week. I hate to see the community die because of this. I'm fortunate there are only two of us. Some families have three and four kids."

Mayor Donnie Grice said the town's objective is to continue growth, but there is little they can do to reduce water rates at this time.

"Certainly we want to promote growth," he said. "Unfortunately the water system costs a lot of money. The rates are based off debt services. Clover is not making any money off water. We're in a transit period where it takes growth to help correct the problem. Our goal is to lower rates and to produce the same quality of water at a lower rate. With debt services, the rates have to be where they are now. We're not making any promises, but we're looking to stabalize the rates at some point and it is a high priority to start lowering rates."

Scott Moulder of Ladson, S.C. will take on the duties of Town Administrator beginning August 19.

Posted by longleaestates on 09/20/2004
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