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BPW approves rate increase Print E-mail

Budget discussions accounted for the majority of the BPW’s August 3 meeting, resulting in the approval of the 2009-2010 Budget by the Commissioners. The proposed budget was thoroughly covered in a Power Point presentation complete with details and comparisons of other municipalities in the surrounding Bamberg area and a model in our same size category.

Utility costs were discussed, as was the increase in wholesale (actual cost) for the BPW, which will in turn be passed on to consumers. While an increase in consumer cost is necessary to adjust for the increase in price to provide services like natural gas and electricity, the Bamberg BPW still remains one of the lowest cost providers of utilities in the state of South Carolina.

According to BPW Manager Bruce Ellis, the rate increase is 3-4%, which translates into a cost increase of approximately $15.00 per month for the average customer who receives all four services, including natural gas, water, sewer, and electricity.

“We are still some of the lowest utility rates in the state of South Carolina…we’re still in the lower 5% of the state…7 out of 10% of the electric increase” is due to the increase in wholesale power costs, according to Ellis.

In other business, the discussion of the addition of Christmas lights for South Bamberg included suggestions to work with the City of Bamberg to add lights and share the cost for the proposed new purchases.

Commissioner Buddy Sandifer noted that he has received complaints from concerned citizens in the South Bamberg area that there is not equal coverage when compared with North Bamberg. “There is a lot of concern by the people on that side of town.”

Manager Ellis noted that the BPW provides the labor, storage, and maintenance for the decorations, and would like to work with the City to discuss improvements.

The Commissioners agreed on the need for further research into the options and a report will be made at the next BPW meeting.

The Manager’s report included the announcement that the BPW donated $39,000 to the City of Bamberg, to be used as deemed appropriate by the City.

In addition to the budget considerations from the August 3 meeting, there was a special meeting of the Commissioners Wednesday, July 8, 2009, pertaining to the previously proposed 3.8% cost of living increase for BPW employees.

According to the minutes recorded from that meeting, Commissioner Sandifer informed the BPW Commissioners that he had done some figuring since the last meeting, and then made the motion to approve a 3.8% cost of living raise for all BPW employees to become effective July 1, 2009. Chairman Kilgus made the necessary second, all approved, and the motion carried. BPW employees have now officially received a 3.8% cost of living increase for all employees.

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