Sewer districts file suit in attempt to halt consolidation

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA)- Several Greenville County special purpose tax districts are suing Greenville County Council in an attempt to stop their consolidation into another special purpose tax sewer district.

According to County Council, a study finds sewer infrastructure in unincorporated areas of Greenville County are in a state of disrepair that’s bad for health, the environment and the county’s growth.

“The study showed that there’s leaks,” said Greenville County Council member Joe Dill. “It’s leaking into the creeks, into the rivers. It’s leaking into people’s yards.”

The issue is how to pay to update it. County Council is considering consolidating several different providers into just one: the Metropolitan Sewer Subdistrict.

There are currently seven special purpose tax districts in the county that provide sewer services, but some districts that could be consolidated are pushing back.

“Nobody is asking for this…none of us,” said Sarah Franco, who is a Parker Sewer and Fire District commissioner.

Franco is an elected official. The Parker Sewer and Fire District, as well as the Ganntt Fire, Sewer, and Police District, the Marietta Water, Fire, Sanitation, and Sewer District, and the Taylors Fire and Sewer District have filed a law suit to stop consolidation.

They allege council dosen’t have the authority to remove their governing bodies and hand over their assets to the Metro district.

“Our position on all of this, is could you talk to us about this?” Franco said.

She said the districts are worried Metro would spend their money far from their homes and wouldn’t be accountable to the people.

Dill says he’s concerned about accountability, too.

“I like the idea of having an elected person on the Metropolitan’s board that has got to answer to the same people I have to answer to,” Dill said.

It’s not clear if consolidation under Metro would affect people’s sewer bill because the formula would change — instead of paying based on property value, they would pay based on the gallons of water they use.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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