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A change of venue made the September meeting a bit cramped, but the Laurens Commission of Public Works had plenty of room to take care of business Monday evening.

It was a quick night of unanimous approvals and little comment. Rather than the usual site next door in the training center, the commissioners met in the conference room of the main office.

The commissioners voted to amend sick leave and vacation employees' policies.

“This is a way to keep and attract better employees,” General Manager John Young said. “We have had a policy where vacation days remain the same for employees from one to 10 years’ service, and we need to fill in those guys.”

The new graduated requirements are: 90 days-6 months, 5 vacation days; 6 months-1 year, 10; 1-10 years, 10; 10-19 years, 15; and 20-plus years, 20.

Regarding sick leave, it will be accrued at a rate of four hours per month but will no longer be considered as hours worked to calculate overtime. Employees hired after Jan. 1, 2020 who retire and provide 45 days’ working notice will be paid a portion of their unused sick leave based on current salary and number of continuous years of employment.

Also approved were a resolution to approve a Santee Cooper Site Readiness Grant contract for $306,000 to complete an electrical distribution loop within Hunter Industrial Park and a recommendation to increase, from $1,500 to $2,000, the limit on CPW’s natural gas appliance financing program.

CPW remains 8 percent under budget in spite of a water deficit of $69,597.21 stemming from an unusually high amount of expenses in that division.

Regarding water, Young reported that repairs at the Lake Rabon pump station have been completed and that the two main pumps should be in operation this week. Morgan Corporation has replaced one of the screw pumps at the Little River Wastewater Treatment Plant with work on the other to begin shortly.

The water plant continues to treat elevated levels of iron and manganese, but geosmin levels have been reduced. The most recent test indicated five nanograms per liter, safely under the level of human detection. Young said he has received no complaints in the past week.

The six workers sent to the coast for hurricane relief left Laurens on Friday at 5:30 a.m. and returned by 11 that night. Hurricane Dorian causes less damage than expected, and the Laurens workers wound up having little to do.

Electricom workers completed the main line portion of the fourth phase in the bare-steel replacement project.

Finally, CPW is partnering with the Laurens Police Department to sponsor a Halloween golf tournament, Oct. 25 at Lakeside Country Club, to benefit disadvantaged youth during the Christmas season.