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BBPW's’ manager defends utility rates Print E-mail

At Bamberg’s city council meeting on Monday night, Bamberg Board of Public Works Manager Bruce Ellis said he had received calls from local newspapers concerning BPW rates. Ellis thought it was best to come before council and address the questions head on and to clear up any rumors concerning this matter.

Ellis said that since 1980 the BPW has been in the lowest three percent in the state in providing residential and commercial electricity, and is now the lowest in the state.

“We have some great rates, which is a plus for Bamberg and you (council) should know it,” Ellis said.

Just to let you know, Ellis said that the BPW electrical rates are “very low” compared to other utility companies. For example he cited one company that charges $300 for a deposit to have electricity turned on compared to BPW which charges only $100.

“Our deposits are in-line, our deposits are low, I’m hearing this, it’s on the streets, and I wanted to clear this up. I thought I needed to come to you (council) and let you get the facts,” Ellis continued.

Like other companies, SCE&G or Edisto Electric Coop, Ellis said that the BPW has a policy of waving a deposit if a new residential customer comes in with a letter of credit from another company. But, Ellis said when the customer’s power is turned off for nonpayment they are required to pay the deposit fee.

There is a fine line when it comes to turning a person’s utilities off. “We do work with people,” Ellis said.

Councilmember Buddy Sandifer stated that “most of the citizens concerns is the water,” noting the charges on his water bill.

Ellis said one is a water charge and one is a sewer charge and the sewer charge is based on how much water is used. For a residential customer after 10,000 gallons there is no more charge for sewer.

Ellis said that it cost more to treat waste water than it does to treat drinking water.

Sandifer asked Ellis where we stand with water, waste water, and gas. Ellis said that he would be glad to get those figures, noting also that it cost more to treat the ground water in Bamberg because of the iron.

 
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