Representatives from the S.C. Rural Water Association will be at the town hall at 11:30 a.m. Thursday to brief council and the public on the alternatives available to the town for treating its sewage. Mayor Ailene Ashe said the town is looking at a number of alternatives including building its own treatment plant or having the City of Union treat its sewage.
The town’s sewage is currently treated by Total Environmental Solutions Inc. of Baton Rouge, La. Mrs. Ashe said the company wants to raise the rates it charges the town for treating its sewage from $8,100 a month to $10,874 a month. She said the town cannot afford such an increase.
Mrs. Ashe said she has been in contact with State Rep. Mike Anthony and State Sen. Harvey Peeler about possibly obtaining a grant to fund the construction of a new sewage treatment plant if that option proves the most feasible. She also said she spoke briefly with Union Mayor Harold Thompson about the possibility of linking the town and the city’s systems and sending Lockhart’s sewage to Union for treatment. She said maybe the city could do a project with Lockhart similar to the one it is planning to do with Jonesville.
Union and Jonesville plan to expand sewer service in the northern section of the U.S. 176 Corridor by linking their systems. Funding for the $3.7 million project would come from the $787 billion economic stimulus package. Utility director Joe Nichols is in Washington, D.C. this week seeking funding for the project.
Mrs. Ashe said the closest place Lockhart could link up with Union would be in Monarch, a distance of roughly 10 miles. Lockhart gets its water from the City of Union through Brown’s Creek Water Co.