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Officials discuss water and sewer system rate consolidation

Many people in McDuffie County don't pay the same rates on their water and sewer bills.

But Thomson and McDuffie County officials discussed at a recent joint government retreat the fact that they are planning to consolidate the debt for the system.

Once the current construction and expansion of the system is completed, officials plan to spread the debt to all customers within the county.

"I think it would be beneficial to the county once we are in that mode that we could combine the debts and structure it like that," said George Lokey, local banker and member of the joint water/sewer commission.

Currently, different funding sources for water/sewer districts inside McDuffie have caused the pay system to differ from area to area. While the system is expanding to include more customers during the next few years, rates for each district must be regulated separately.

Customers living in different water/sewer districts within the county may have large differences on their bills. Once new water and sewer lines are added and construction on the water treatment plants are completed, officials hope to get all customers to share the burden of paying off the system and paying for its upkeep.

"It is our understanding and belief that if the whole county shared in the total debt, then it would kind of even out instead of having so many different water rates around the county," Mr. Lokey said. "It should save most folks some money."

According to early conservative projections, construction on the system is scheduled for completion in 2007.

Work towards debt consolidation would take place after expansion is complete.

"It's one of the mandates that the state has put out, and that is that you try to have uniform rates. So it becomes a goal from that standpoint," said Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders. "It is the mark of a growing, maturing system."



Web posted on Thursday, October 7, 2004


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