Irmo residents upset about proposed wastewater rate increase

Irmo residents upset about proposed wastewater rate increase

IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - Folks in the Town of Irmo are upset over a proposal to increase their sewer rates by about $36 for residential properties.

“In 2007, sewer costs were about $39 dollars, and today it’s over 65,” Erik Sickinger, Town of Irmo Councilman-Elect, said. “If this passes, it’ll be over $100. That’s over a 65 percent increase over the last 12 years. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t made 65 percent more money over the last 12 years.”

Residents in Irmo banded together Monday evening at Town Park to stand against a proposed wastewater rate hike. They say they just can’t afford it.

“It’s just ridiculous,” one woman said.

Blue Granite Water Company applied for the changes on Sept. 30 with the Public Service Commission (PSC), the group that regulates public utilities.

“The hope is that PSC listens to the residents and either declines the rate increase, or adjusts it so it’s more affordable,” Sickinger said.

The PSC is expected to make a decision in March of 2020. Until then, residents say they’ll stick together to make sure their grievances are heard.

“If you use $25 worth of water, they should be paying $25 worth of sewer, not a fixed price -- which is what they’re doing right now,” Barry Walker, Irmo’s mayor-elect, said. “That’s the ultimate goal. But we have to get them to the negotiating table.”

Blue Granite Water Company says preserving financial integrity, promoting continued investment in the maintenance of facilities and attracting capital for future improvements are some of the reasons behind the rate hikes.

Anyone who would like to file a complaint about the proposed rate increase can do so with the PSC by clicking or tapping here.

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