Public hearing set for Darlington’s water rate increase

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Residents of the city of Darlington are invited to attend a public hearing regarding a water/sewer rate increase at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 2, 2016, at City Hall, 400 Pearl St., Darlington. The proposal would increase the water rate by $1 per month and the sewer rate by $1 per month, or 1.5%, on October 1, 2016, and by 3% each year for the next five years. The increase will help cover rising costs to provide quality water and sewer services to residents.

As reported in the June 8th issue of the News and Press, “Water bills may go up in City of Darlington” the mayor and city council members met with city manager Howard Garland, water and sewer director Fred Kinsaul, contractor David Brown of Davis & Brown, and consultant Jannie Latham on Tuesday, May 31st for a nearly 4-hour meeting to discuss the pending budget for the water and sewer fund, public works, water distribution and maintenance.

The city now charges well below neighboring municipalities, in the lowest 24% of rates state-wide.

Proposed increases include a $2 a month and 3% rate increase for residential inside the city limits for the next five years, and $4 a month and 5% rate increase for outside of city limits.

The city has four wells, and a wastewater treatment facility that is contracted for service and operation through licensed and certified engineers at Davis & Brown.
The water and sewer department, through Kinsaul, has trimmed costs considerably by finding a new vendor for chemicals.

New costs would include setting up a back up for documents and meter readings that can detect leaks in a timely manner, saving homeowners in costs.

Another upcoming cost will be to paint the water tower at North Main Street inside and out – per mandate by S.C. DHEC; the other water tower at Pine Street will need to b done in the next year or two.

A new truck will need to be purchased in the near future, too.

The general public can assist with keeping rates down by doing general maintenance, such as keeping manhole covers clean from debris, clearing out ditches from large fallen limbs, not putting refuse in those ditches. Inside the home and commercial locations, citizens are encouraged to NOT flush things such as feminine products, paper towels, or flushable wipes, and not pour grease down kitchen sink drains.

Author: Duane Childers

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