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The agenda of Thursday night’s Laurens Commission of Public Works meeting was crowded but hardly controversial. From approval of the minutes, through four resolutions, to a pair of recommendations, all passed without dissent, and a bit of levity occurred from playful turns of deciding who would move for passage and who would move to second.

A generally good time was had by all.

The commission dealt with some weighty matters – a construction contract for sanitary sewer lines (a bit of a contradiction in terms) at Hunter Industrial Park, another to install underground electric lines at the same facility, a third for installation of new screw pumps, and purchase of a backup emergency diesel generator for the Little River Wastewater Treatment Plant – that all agreed were necessary, if pricey.

Also passed with little fanfare were an adjustment to electric rates for large industrial consumers and changes in the water/sewer infrastructure reimbursement policy.

General Manager John Young pointed out that record temperatures of May and early June, not to mention a 33-day streak without rain, would cause utility bills to rise. Among other highlights from Young’s divisional reports were:

– Discussions by Administrative Director Blake Davis with the S.C. Municipal Insurance Trust resulted in an experience modifier of .55, which, in conversational English, means that CPW’s safety record will result in lower premiums.

– Service technician Allen Smith completed his coursework in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) basics with straight A’s at Piedmont Tech.

– Improvements to the main office and grounds continue. Among the changes are a new LED (light-emiting diode) sign out front and lobby renovations.

– A pad-mounted transformer for the coming True Core industry was set at Hunter Industrial Park.

– Completion of the East Main Street lighting project.

– Ongoing negotiations with the S.C. Department of Transportation regarding the relocation of a gas line around the site of a traffic circle being constructed at Trinity Church Road and U.S. 76. It’s going to cost CPW about $137,000, though on next year’s budget.

– Completion of more work in the bare steel replacement project by the firm Electricom.

Davis deemed the financial statement sound. The water numbers were considerably better – a $34,385.68 profit as opposed to a $33,447.12 loss – than at the same point in 2018. Thus far in the year, CPW is operating $420,003 under budget.

To close with a fun fact, in April, a total of 13,369,919 gallons of water were flushed.