Midland Valley Monthly – December 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! During this month of December, we will all be busy with the sights and sounds of the season. Nevertheless, I hope that you will take a few moments to remember the true meaning for why we celebrate Christmas. In the spirit of giving, please remember those around us who are not as fortunate. By lending a hand, volunteering our time, or contributing a gift no matter the size, we each can make this holiday season better for those in need. Please join me in doing so. This column is to keep you informed about what is going on at your State House and around our district during the past month of November.

As to the Avondale Water System, Rep. Roland Smith, Senator Massey and I continue to be real busy working with VPSA, Aiken County, and Avondale as we try to bring the transfer to reality. Other members of the Aiken County legislative delegation including Rep. Bill Clyburn have been particularly helpful to the effort. Many folks are working hard to meet the deadlines for both the transfer agreement and the federal monies that are available for improvements. We are both encouraged and hopeful because VPSA has asked for bids on the first phase of work to be done and the County and Avondale have resolved most of the issues between them.

Second, here is the latest on the July bills and the water rate hike. As you may know, on August 24, the Circuit Court issued a Temporary Injunction stating that Avondale cannot charge the new rate for service between June 25 and August 1 due to a lack of notice to the customers after the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the new rate schedule on June 18. Avondale appealed that decision to the South Carolina Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in early November that the injunction was improperly granted and any request for an injunction should have started with the PSC. Immediately, Avondale wrote citizens and requested that all bills be paid by the end of November. Concerned citizens filed a request with the PSC seeking a similar injunction. On November 19, the PSC denied the injunction request, but the PSC did rule that the July bills are not due until the end of January of 2010. The PSC noted that it wanted to give the citizens more time to pay the July bills. Thus, contrary to Avondale’s recent letter, the July bills are not due until the end of January of 2010.

Third, as to other issues regarding the rate hike and adjusting it for the future, the PSC decided to hold off addressing those until the end of January so that any PSC action would not interfere with the pending transfer of the Avondale system. I am hopeful that we are seeing the last two months of the existence of the Avondale system. If you have questions, please call Representative Roland Smith, Senator Massey, or me.

At the House of Representatives, a resolution to impeach Governor Sanford was prefiled on November 17. Soon after, a committee of seven (7) members from the Judiciary Committee was formed to investigate and to take testimony. As of December 2, this committee had met twice and is expected to meet at least four more times over the month of December. Based on what I have read and what I am hearing, I will be surprised if the Governor is impeached. Nearly all of the folks who have contacted me are clear that they want the legislature to focus on the real issues affecting our citizens and not get bogged down in a long drawn out impeachment process when the legislature reconvenes in January. Most other members tell me that they are hearing the same thing from their constituents. If you have a different view, please let me know.

Please know that I am always available to you and your family should you ever need assistance. I will do my best to listen to you; to help with your constituent concerns; and to be responsive to your requests. I can be reached by telephone (649-0000 or 215-3631); email (TomYoung@schouse.org); regular mail (P.O. Box 651, Aiken, SC 29802); or just pull me aside when you see me. If you would like for me to speak to your church or other civic group about pending legislation or other concerns to you, please let me know. Remember to check my website – www.reptomyoung.com – for updates about is going on at the State House and in our district. Thank you for the privilege and the opportunity to represent you.

Leave a Comment