Hopkins, Lower Richland residents still seek answers for propose - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Hopkins, Lower Richland residents still seek answers for proposed sewer project

HOPKINS, SC (WIS) -

More than 200 Hopkins residents showed up at Hopkins Park to discuss Richland County's proposed sewer project that would be placed throughout Lower Richland, Eastover and Hopkins.

The project has already received approval from Richland County Council, but many of the residents, now known as the Hopkins and Lower Richland Citizens United, are not happy with the actions of the council.

"You're not being fair," Joseph Robinson said. "You're not being fair to the Lower Richland community and we are the people that put you in office."

The new project could force residents like Robinson to give up their septic system forcing him to pay a lot more out of pocket.

"Four-thousand dollars plus the cost of running the line from your home to the tap could run as much as $1,000 to as much as $1,500 additional dollars," Wendy Brawley said. "Then, you have to deal with the sewer system that you have. The septic tank has to be covered in some way, which could cost hundreds of dollars more. Then, you have a monthly bill."

Brawley helped to set up the meeting so residents could get answers from the USDA, who Brawley says will fund part of the project. However, the agency's representative did not show.

"We're hoping that our elected officials will listen to us," Brawley said.

The utilities department says there is no mandate to switch, but the county will reduce or waive fees or offer a financing plan to repay the $4,000 cost. Paul Brawley, Wendy's husband and the county's auditor, believes the citizens are being "conned" with these promises.

"It's an enticement," Paul said. "They're trying to get 200 people to sign up, and if they can get 200 people to sign up, then this project continues."

Council Chairman Norman Jackson hopes to answer a lot of questions Tuesday night in a public forum. Jackson says Monday's meeting was dangerous and potentially misleading. Jackson's Q&A session will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Sheriffs Department Substation next to Lower Richland High.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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