Lamar water and flood issues persist

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

An automated valve intended to channel water from the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority to the Town of Lamar on an as-needed basis malfunctioned recently, causing the town to receive an unexpected and unnecessary influx of water.

“(The valve) had an upgrade and they didn’t put it back to automatic, so from the middle of December to the middle of January we purchased about 375,000 gallons of water from the county, and it shouldn’t have been that much,” said council member Mike Lloyd.

The valve has since been reset, and Lloyd said the DCWSA directed him to a website where he can monitor the valve and check its status.

Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Thomas, running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Randy Reynolds, spoke with Lloyd about town efforts to unblock water and sewer lines on Lee Street. Thomas said workers are currently trying to unblock the lines with pressurized water, and Lloyd suggested measuring the distance to the blockage, since the town may have to dig it out eventually.

Thomas added that standing water all around Lamar, leftover from heavy rains and flooding, is still a problem and could become a health hazard when warm weather returns.

“Our water is settling all over,” said Thomas. “We’re going to have a serious mosquito problem by the summer.”

Thomas asked that council begin planning ways to clear up the standing water and/or treat it to prevent mosquito breeding. Lloyd suggested hiring out a small track hoe to dig out plugged ditches in locations the town’s heavy backhoe cannot reach.

Also at this meeting, council members Willie Howell and Angele White-Bradley requested more detail in the fiscal year 2016/17 budget summary, with Howell suggesting that breaking down departmental budgets and providing more data would enhance council’s understanding and ability to discuss town budget matters with citizens.

Author: Duane Childers

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