Hopkins residents petition against sewer project - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Hopkins residents petition against sewer project

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The Hopkins group speaks to the media Thursday morning. The Hopkins group speaks to the media Thursday morning.

The battle continues in Richland County over a sewer project.

Thursday, Hopkins residents delivered a petition against the project to Richland County Council in Columbia.

Helen Taylor Bradley, an organizer of the group presenting the petition, said more than 500 people signed the petition in 48 hours.

The new sewer project would be placed throughout Lower Richland, Eastover, and Hopkins. Dan Purini, with the Richland County Utilities Department, says the new system comes of the heels of several septic tanks failing throughout the Lower Richland area. Many of the people in the area use septic tanks, and this project could change that.

"We could actually become, right here in Hopkins, another Detroit, cutting off vital, essential services like water and sewer in our small, rural community in Hopkins," said lifelong resident Wendy Brawley.

Purini says the new system comes on the heels of several septic tanks failing throughout the Lower Richland area.

Lower Richland Boulevard ranks ninth out of 93 communities surveyed in the state on a DHEC priority list for environmentally distressed communities for sewer needs.

One of the major issues brought up before delivering the signed petition Thursday, was that council approved the project without input from citizens.

"We were not told the specific plans that will be placing the sewer system in the midst of our daycares, our churches, our homes, and schools,'' said Bradley.

Norman Jackson, Richland County Council Chairman, released a statement Thursday saying additional information will be presented to citizens in mid-August.

"On behalf of Richland County Council we thank all of our citizens for being engaged and for their willingness to share their thoughts and concerns," Jackson said. "The Hopkins Community is one of the county's most committed and vocal community partners, and their thoughtful contributions have been important to developing and sustaining neighborhoods throughout Lower Richland County."

"Richland County Government Staff will provide additional information concerning the Lower Richland Sewer Project to citizens in mid-August," continued Jackson. "Additionally, during early fall, Richland County will begin hosting a series of meetings to update citizens on the sewer project, receive feedback and provide the Lower Richland Community with a strategic plan of action."

Hopkins residents will host a community meeting regarding the sewer project on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hopkins Park Adult Activity Center.

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