SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – 7 News confirmed Friday a group of Spartanburg County homeowners has enlisted a former congressman to lead their battle with a water utility.
Attorney Trey Gowdy sent a letter to Spartanburg Water System Thursday responding to proposed rules homeowners have said will drop their property values.
It’s the latest move in an ongoing fight between homeowners along two lakes and the utility that maintains the waterways.
The letter signed by Gowdy and addressed to Spartanburg Water System is copied to Spartanburg’s Mayor, City Council members, and a list of other governments officials.
Multiple calls to Gowdy Friday went unanswered.
Jennifer Candler, the spokeswoman for Spartanburg Water did confirm the utility received the letter.
In the 9-pages written on behalf of Lake Front Property Owners Association, Gowdy challenges the water utility’s draft set of rules and regulations for the management of the drinking reservoirs.
The homeowners live along Lake Bowen and Lake Blalock which are owned by Spartanburg Water.
In August 2018, residents had angry words for the utility at a public meeting where they expressed their concerns over the enforcement of regulations they said were confusing.
The issue centers on the line that separates homeowners’ property and the utility’s property.
Residents said that line keeps creeping onto their land.
The utility pulls drinking water from Lake Bowen and leaders say enforcing regulations reduces contamination.
Homeowners also take issue with having to get permits to do yard work and build docks and slow response times to getting those permits approved.
Spartanburg Water CEO Sue Schneider promised to work with residents last year and announced a plan to address the issues.
One year has passed and as reflected in the new letter from Gowdy those issues don’t appear to be resolved.
Gowdy said the rules lack “substantive due process,” include “incorrect reference to state statutes,” and “assume authority and powers not granted to Spartanburg Water.”
Here’s the full statement sent to 7News in regards to Spartanburg Water’s receipt of Gowdy’s letter:
“Spartanburg Water received a letter from Mr. Gowdy yesterday, in regards to the proposed rules and regulations document we have made readily available for review and comment.
As with other public comments we have received during this period that ends on August 30, the letter and its contents are scheduled to be considered by the Commissioners at an upcoming meeting. The proposed rules and regulations document is intended to be a compilation of previously approved regulations that have been in place for years, and in some cases, decades.
Spartanburg Water is committed to providing safe, quality drinking water for our customers, and while this means we must have the ability to ensure the proper use of our property by others, we do not believe that the regulations proposed prevent the enjoyment of our adjoining neighbors.
We look forward to thoroughly reviewing all public comments received, and appreciate the opportunity to hear from our community.”