As a small town any project that we encounter has a major impact on our resources. There is a bill in the SC State Senate S 0401 that would amend article 5 to provide that an entity undertaking a transportation improvement project to bear the costs of relocating water and sewer lines, it would also provide the requirements for utilities to be eligible for relocation payments and define the necessary terms. This bill would enable our utility department to be reimbursed for utility relocation costs associated with planned highway projects.
The SCDOT endorses this bill because it would ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. Currently, if a utility department can’t bear the costs of utility relocation it delays the contractor. Those delays impact the SCDOT and cause project costs to inflate. While every public water and sewer utility incurs non-reimbursed relocation costs, it is the smaller utilities that face the bigger financial hardships. Rate payers cannot handle this burden without assistance. The utilities have to use reserve funds, grants and/or loans. This diverts funds from other much needed capital projects.
From a recent relocation study the Town of Johnsonville, which has a population of 1480, spent over $800,000 resulting from the widening of SC Hwy 41. With several transportation projects scheduled for Chapin, this bill would have a significant impact on our Town. We ask that our citizens support legislation that deems public water and sewer line relocation to be a DOT project cost. We will keep an eye on the trajectory of this bill and keep the public informed of its progress.
In addition, I would like to remind all our community members that we have two openings on both our Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. This is a great way to become involved in the future of our Chapin community. Applicants do not need to reside in the Chapin town limits, however, a vested interest in the Greater Chapin community is important. For more information on all of our Boards and Commissions, please email Julie Hammond at email@example.com or visit our website.
Warmest RegardsMayor David Knight