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Clinton gives nod to pre-pay metering; surprised by LCDC move

This story is from the Aug. 1 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

Clinton, S.C. –  Clinton City Council gave Utilities Department Director Joey Meadors the go-ahead to begin plans for an optional utility billing system that can help those customers who have the toughest time keeping up with their utility bills.

The pre-pay metering system would allow customers who choose to participate the opportunity to pay weekly and better manage their utility bills.

“We have a good many customers paying reconnect fees and penalties every month,” said Utilities Director Joey Meadors, who explained about the customer benefits of the pre-pay metering system. “It works really well for folks who are on a weekly budget as they can pay a couple bills a year on what they would have paid on penalties and reconnect fees.”

The system would use an app which allows the participating customers to see their energy usage and regulate it as needed.

“There is the advantage of conservation on the customer’s part because they can see what they are using and adjust their usage as needed,” Meadors said.

Utility billing staff members will be trained in how to explain the system to customers and assist them in setting up their accounts.

In other business, Clinton resident Daria Cronic spoke representing the Elm Street neighborhood in the College View area of Clinton, and she asked council to consider put- ting resources into determining the source of sewer backup problems in that section of the city.

Cronic said it’s not a new problem, and she asked council to consider the problem before repaving Elm Street, in case the issues stem from infra- structure underneath the street.

Following a presentation on the background of various types of city governments by Municipal Association of South Carolina Field Service Manager Jeff Shacker, council discussed the possibility of holding a workshop to better understand the role of council members in the Council Form of Government.

Council members Megan Walsh, Shirley Jenkins, Danny Cook and Gary Kuykendall voted to set a date for the workshop with Shacker, while Mayor Bob McLean, Robbie Neal and Ronnie Roth voted against holding the informational workshop.

Following executive session, council member Danny Cook voiced concern about the Laurens County Development Corporation’s decision to move from its central location between the cities to downtown Laurens, and later McLean said he was also surprised. “There was a reason for putting the hospital and chamber between the two cities. The goal was to build common ground,” McLean said. “I for one had no idea this vote was taking place.”

The cities of Laurens and Clinton and the Town of Gray Court are all represented on the LCDC Board.

McLean also shared with council that starting next week, Ryan Homes will begin work on two display model houses in the Hampton Woods development on Charlottes Road. Eventually there will be space for 88 homes in the 1,800 to 2,200 square foot size range, at costs ranging from $190,000 to $230,000 range.

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