Some residents in Aiken County are recovering from sticker shock after taking a look at their water bills. Residents who get their water from the former operator of Avondale Mills saw their bills jump several hundred dollars in one month. State Senator Shane Massey says any rate increase would hurt people on a fixed income.
“Surprise was an understatement,” said Massey, “these people were shocked. They knew there was going to be a rate increase but they did not expecting anything this substantial and not at this point.”
Massey says the county has $6 million in stimulus money for upgrades to the water system, but can’t use it until it’s transfered from private to public control.
According to Massey, “We’re dealing with such an antiquated and dilapitated system. This system has been in the ground for, I don’t know, estimates maybe 80 years or so, and few repairs have been done to it other than just putting band-aids on it during that time period.”
The Public Service Commission suspended the rate increase until they get more information on how the increases will affect the community.