Grand Strand Water & Sewer News

City of Marion Gave Their Support for GSWSA to Begin Operating the City's Water and Sewer System

March 17, 2010

City of Marion Residents Vote for Lower Water and Sewer Rates

Conway, SC, March 16, 2010 – In a vote on Tuesday, March 16, citizens in the City of Marion gave their support for Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority to begin operating the City’s water and sewer system.

Currently, a water and sewer bill for a customer in the City with an average consumption of 8,000 gallons per month is approximately $58.83. Under the GSWSA rate structure, the same bill will be approximately $50.20 monthly.

“In the absence of this agreement, rates for water and sewer service would have continued to rise,” said Marion City Mayor, Rodney Berry. He continued, “This is great for our residents and for the City of Marion. It means that rates for water and sewer service will be reduced to year 2005 levels and are guaranteed not to change before July 1, 2012.” GSWSA has committed they will not increase rates any more than its retail customer rates in Horry County.

Passage of the referendum ensures the City of Marion will no longer be encumbered with $11 million of debt for the existing system. According to the agreement, GSWSA will pay approximately $13.6 million for the Marion water and sewer system and franchise of which $11 million will pay off the existing debt and $2.6 million will be paid directly to the City. Additionally, the City of Marion will receive an annual franchise fee of at least $150,000.

“We think this is a good deal for everyone involved,” remarked Fred Richardson, chief executive officer of Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority. “The City of Marion will no longer be burdened by the $11 million of debt to provide these services to its residents. The citizens of Marion will receive high quality water and sewer services at lower rates, and the employees of Marion Water and Sewer will not lose seniority or benefits. The citizens of Horry County will have more protection and control over its watershed and both counties will benefit from increased opportunities for economic development,” Richardson said.

Residents will not experience any interruptions in service during the transition, which is expected to begin early next month. GSWSA encourages anyone having questions to call 843-443-8221.

Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority provides service to over 65,000 customers in Horry, Georgetown, Marion and Columbus Counties.

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