Sewer volume charges

unjustifiable

The following letter was sent to the Georgetown County Water and Sewer District.

I will attempt to make two points within this letter, first that the charges related to sewer volume during peak usage months are illogical and unjustifiable; and, two, that the relatively recently adopted practice of a minimum usage level is not only unjustified but counterproductive as well.

First the sewer volume assessment. If my usage profile is anything like that of an average customer, water usage peaks during the summer months, typically June through September. It would stand to reason that the increase in usage has nothing to do with water that is discharged into the sewer system; rather it is most probably water that is used in lawn, garden and shrub watering, perhaps with some things such as wading pool and vehicle washing thrown in. Why then does GCW&S include that seasonal water increase in the sewer charge? Would it not be more just, fair, and reasonable to peg the sewer charge to the average off-peak monthly usage? It seems to me that it would be a simple task for GCW&S to either use each customer’s data or compare the amount of water provided to all customers during the summer months to the amount of waste water treated during those same months to arrive at a sewer charge ratio that is more in line with actual usage ratios.

Second, the minimum usage level. I am still not sure I understand the need for this, inasmuch as there was already a “customer charge” which would be presumed to cover the basic operating costs of providing service. Furthermore, with the current emphasis on reducing the use of natural resources across the board, it would seem counterproductive to institute a minimum use level.

Why would anyone wish to use less water when it doesn’t reduce their bill? Maybe if you credited customer accounts from those months when the minimum wasn’t met to those months in which the minimum was exceeded it may make some sense.

I respectfully request that some consideration be given to adjusting your billing methods.

Gerald W. Campbell Jr.

Murrells Inlet

City Hall security

When governments become fearful of their citizens, the source of the problem is the government.

Tom Rubillo

Georgetown

SELC and biomass

It was disappointing to read an op-ed by Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) concerning biomass printed in the format of a news article when in fact it was an opinion piece.

This is not a scientifically based organization but instead a law firm! They make their money suing landowners, both private and corporate, to prohibit them from exercising their constitutional rights as landowners. They sue until the owners run out of money and have to give up the fight.

Their article was totally skewed in favor of the “tree hugger” ilk who do not want anyone to cut a tree. The only scientific evidence presented in their article stated that “Scientific research consistently suggests that cutting down trees wholesale and burning them for energy … produces more carbon pollution than allowing living forests to continue to absorb and store carbon.”

Science consistently suggests? Whose science? I am under the impression that science does not “suggest”. It either proves or it does not prove. Wouldn’t you think that scientists know by now what is in wood smoke? Think about this, before man was able to put out forest fires, a fire would burn millions of acres until rain put it out. There were vast meadows and less trees because of huge fires. There were significantly less trees on Earth then than now and what did we have? The Ice Age! Man made global warming?

To say that there may be a shortage of biomass “suggests” that SELC hasn’t done their homework, but instead I am sure it “proves” they ignore facts to suit their purpose. Have you ever driven by a completed logging operation? All of the left over limbs, stumps, leaves etc. … that is just one example of biomass. Millions upon millions of tons over countless hundreds of thousands of acres all over the country just waiting for a market strong enough to make it profitable to gather it all up and take it to a company that can use it. Thousands of jobs out of what is being left to rot today. A company will not build a facility to use something if it is not there. We aren’t talking about the government being in charge of this!

These groups, and I include The League of Women Voters and The South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) and others, do not want us to mine coal, drill for oil, put up wind turbines, build dams and now they don’t want us to burn wood and they will sue to keep you from being able to sell your biomass, sue to keep you from drilling, sue you to keep you from doing anything that will help this country or help yourself. You have to ask what their true motive is! My guess is that these attorneys have grown tired of chasing ambulances and are now chasing log trucks.

Bill Hills

Murrells Inlet

Best use of people’s money?

With all the news about cash strapped governments on the local, state and federal level, I and possibly some of my fellow taxpayers would be interested in the reasoning behind and the cost of some recent projects in the Georgetown area such as:

1. The two soccer fields on Aviation Blvd. with underground sprinklers, sod, lighting, fencing, bleachers, etc. that no one ever uses.

2. Fencing the entire perimeter of the County airport.

3. Curbing and lighting on Front Street west of Highway 17.

While it may be argued that all these are wonderful and/or useful additions to the community, it raises the question — is this the best use of the people's money? In these times of restraint and cutbacks, it seems hard to explain these expenditures and the usual "It was already in the budget" doesn't hold water.

Bob Miller

Georgetown