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Beaverdam Creek Sewer Line delays cost taxpayers millions   February 21, 2006
Costs incurred by delays in Construction of the BeaverDam Sewer Line

February 21, 2006

On February 7th, 2006 Council Member Michael Thompson requested a study be done on the costs to the taxpayers of Anderson County as a result of the lawsuits filed and delays conducted against The County by Council Member Cindy Wilson. Using various agencies to provide the data, we have compiled an estimate of the impact that the 6 year delay has had on Anderson County.

Chronology of Events

  • Construction permits were issued for Phase II, Beaverdam Sewer Line in September 2000.
  • Stormwater permits were issued in October, 2000
  • Water Quality Certifications were issued in December, 2001
    (Source: DHEC)

Almost immediately, allegations were raised and paperwork filed that was intended to shut down the project. Led by Council Person M.Cindy Wilson, this resulted in a stay against construction.
In April of 2001, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at D.H.E.C. heard arguments by Council Person Wilson, and in September of 2001, the allegations were decided to be void of merit. Immediately, Council Person Wilson filed an appeal to the D.H.E.C. board, and in March 2002 The Board of D.H.E.C. determined her claims to be totally without basis.(Source: DHEC)

Simultaneously another series of charges were filed, this time alleging improprieties in the issuance of the Stormwater and Sediment Reduction Permits.

The ALJ heard these charges raised by Council Person Wilson in September of 2001, and in March of 2002 the ALJ again found the charges to be lacking substance, and once again ruled in favor of Anderson County.

As before, an appeal was immediately filed to the Board of DHEC by Council Person Wilson. In February of 2003, this board once again found nothing to support the charges, and again let stand the decision of the ALJ. (Source: DHEC)

The 401 Water Quality Certifications were challenged by Council Person Wilson. In July of 2002 the ALJ heard Ms. Wilson’s concerns regarding the process followed by Anderson County in submitting the paperwork, and in February 2003 the ALJ found her statements to be lacking in substance, ruling for the third time in favor of Anderson County.

The expected appeal by Council Person Wilson to the board of DHEC resulted in a significant delay, and it was not till February 2004 that the Board of D.H.E.C. once again found no reason to take into consideration the allegations and charges made against Anderson County, and ruled for the 3rd time in favor of Anderson County.
(Source: DHEC)

Financial Impacts on Anderson County

If bids for Phase II had been issued when the original Construction permits were released, they would have been received in a time frame that would have allowed construction to begin by the late 2000.

With an estimated time for completion of 12 months, the sewer line would have been operational on or before January of 2002(Source: BP Barber Engineers)

The repeated court actions and 6 different decisions actually pushed the start date back 5 years.

As a result of Anderson County’s defense against Council Person Wilson’s allegations, the delays in construction, and lost development opportunities, the citizens of Anderson County have been dealt an unanticipated burden of several million dollars.

Construction Costs

  • Bids were received in January 2006 for Phase II. These bids came in at $7,681,318.00
  • If bids had been received in October 2000 the estimated cost would have been $6,252,599.00
    (Source: Engineering News Record/ BP Barber & Associates)

Additional Cost to Anderson County .....$1,428,719.00

Costs of Legal Defense and Professional Services

  • Repeated appeals
  • Overlap of different hearings and appeals
  • Need to defend against allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, cover up

Total cost of legal and professional services related to defending Anderson County

(Source: Anderson County Finance Department)
Lost Development
In September 2000, the most dramatic residential development ever announced for Anderson County was made when famed “Cliffs at Glassy” developer Jim Anthony announced “The Cliffs at Anderson Lake.”
Already responsible for 4 very successful similar developments in Greenville and Pickens County, The Cliffs at Anderson Lake was a home run for Anderson County. This 1250 acre development, predicated on having the sewage capacity that could only be available through the Beaverdam Sewer Line, would have broken ground in 2001, with the residential units starting to come online in 2003.
(Source: Appalachian Council of Governments/Anderson County Economic Development Division)

Based upon the actual history of the existing developments conducted by Mr. Anthony, his estimate of a 6 year build out for the 800 units of Phase I, Cliffs at Anderson Lake, is used.
With an average house value of $400,750, and between 100 and 140 units being built per year, the loss in tax dollars just to the County and School District 5 is in the millions.

Loss of Property Tax Revenue from 2003-2006 ..... $2,653,000.00

(Source: Appalachian Council of Governments)

The addition of 800 new housing Units would have provided a dramatic boost in operating revenues for the Waste Water Department.

  • Loss of user fees for Waste Water ..... $130,000.00
  • Loss of permit fees for Waste Water ..... $292,600.00
  • Loss of millage for Waste Water ..... $ 19,000.00

Total loss to Waste Water Department .....$441,600.00
(Source: Appalachian Council of governments)

Other entities also lost revenue

  • Hammond Water
  • Tri-County Tech
  • Anderson County Solid waste
  • Anderson County Library
  • Anderson County Fire Services
  • Anderson Alternative School

Total Loss of Revenue to other Entities .....$1,700,000.00
(Source: Appalachian Council of Governments)

It is important to consider that the above financial impacts do not take into account spillover growth and the increase in property values to existing properties. One can conclude a dramatic rate of increased development in the Highway 81/I-85 corridor as a result of the sewer line being in service several years earlier.

It is also important to remember that the Legal actions undertaken by Council Person Wilson also resulted in cost delays to the construction of Phase I. These additional costs to Anderson County can be estimated at approximately $115,000.
(Source: Dewey Pearson)

A final consideration is the fact that the above impact is through 2006. Anderson County will feel the impact for many years to come of the lost development, until such point in time when comparable developments are built.

Total Estimated Impact to Anderson County .....$7,615,000.00
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