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Carolina Water responds to the town of Lexington’s latest offer to buy I-20 waste water treatment pl

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – In response to the Town of Lexington’s latest offer to buy Carolina Water’s I-20 waste water treatment plant, Carolina Water has issued a statement telling their side of the story.

In the statement released yesterday by Robert Yanity, Communications Coordinator for Utilities, Inc., he said, “Media reports have indicated that the Town of Lexington has made an offer to Carolina Water Service to purchase its I-20 facility. As of 4:55 pm on Thursday, Sept. 21, that offer has not been received by CWS.”

Yanity continued by saying, “As background, the Town of Lexington made an offer to CWS in May 2017 for the I-20 plant for $1.3 million. This offer was unacceptable and was declined. The $1.3 million was the first and only offer we have received from the Town since 1996. It is noteworthy that when CWS received an offer in condemnation from the Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer System in 2004 for the I-20 system for nearly four times this amount, the Town joined CWS in opposing that condemnation.”

Yanity said that CWS has long been supportive of selling the I-20 system to the Town of Lexington for a reasonable price and ending discharges into the Saluda River. CWS is confident that a professional appraiser with recognized expertise in this area would estimate a value for the I-20 system far more than the amount offered by the Town.

He also said that In lieu of an acceptable offer, CWS is extremely supportive of the Town using its authority of eminent domain to begin condemnation proceedings, a process that will allow the town to acquire immediate ownership of the property while ensuring that CWS is given an opportunity to seek just compensation. This solution is not only acceptable to us, but also supported by river stakeholders as mentioned in The State newspaper on Aug. 28, 2015.

Yanity said that because CWS has not received any recent offer from the Town, Lexington should feel comfortable proceeding with the condemnation immediately if they are in fact willing to pay fair market value as required by law.

Finally, CWS remains open to ending the discharge by way of a wholesale connection with the town, which is what is required under the 208 Plan. It is unfortunate that the town will not offer interconnection as that will end the discharge and avoid the cost and delay associated with interconnection.

The statement that an offer was made on the plant by the Town of Lexington was released to The Ledger, and other media sources, on Thursday the 21st at 3:00 p.m. It remains to be seen if this offer will be considered reasonable by CWS, but by Yanity’s statement, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

We will continue to update this story as it develops.

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