Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – The town of Chapin has passed a policy Tuesday night that would require developers to pony up for any addition to Chapin’s sewer system if their new projects require Chapin to spend money to increase the capacity of their system. This is already being done out Old Lexington Highway and on Wessinger Road, the steps the town took just made it official for more projects in the future.
Andy Metts, the director of the town’s utilities department, and his staff suggested that the policy be formalized because so much development is happening around the town. Basically, if a developer is building homes or something else that requires sewer service and their extra capacity requires that the town increase the parts of their system that take on that extra sewage and pipe it to their new treatment plant, the developer would need to pay for and have the additions built themselves. This is very necessary for several reason. First, as the area’s designated regional sewer provider, the town is required to try and take these new developments into their system and provide for them even when they aren’t actually in the town. Secondly, because some of the town’s system is already at, near, or even over capacity. The town is in essence saying that their other existing customers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for upgrades if the new kid in town makes them necessary.
There would be some exceptions to this rule. First, if the town’s system would reap benefits from the new portion of the system installed by a developer, that would be taken into consideration. This is the case with a part of the Wessinger to Hilton line. The developer is now building the sewer line up Wessinger Road from the crossroads where it won’t really have a positive impact in opening new territory for the town. Chapin is then paying for construction from Hilton up Chapin Road and down Crooked Creek to the new plant. That portion of the line is prime commercial land where sewer taps cost big and the town and its system could benefit greatly from its being there.
The first draft of this was presented at the June work session. In that draft, it had the Utility Department staff making the decisions on who would need to pay and build. That has since been amended to put that power in the hands of the town’s council on a case-by-case basis.
This policy only needed one reading and that was held and passed overwhelmingly at last night’s regular July council meeting. It will now be in effect whenever the issue arises in the future.