TEGA CAY — Tega Cay citizens want their money back.
The six-member Tega Cay Water Citizen Advisory Council petitioned the South Carolina Public Service Commission on Wednesday to have water rate increases in 2010 and 2013 “rescinded and refunded.”
“The customers did not get the service they paid for,” group leader Linda Stevenson said.
The group submitted the petitions as individual customers of Tega Cay Water Service rather than submitting them as a group, which would necessitate legal representation. The idea is that increases of almost 14 percent in 2010 and 33 percent last year were granted at least in part to pay for maintenance and system improvements – which either didn’t materialize or didn’t go far enough to prevent a recent series of sewage spills into Lake Wylie.
Group members argue that wastewater spills show the system is not being adequately maintained or improved. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control listed a variety of environmental infractions in a Feb. 3 consent order that included a $136,000 fine for the company.
Stevenson admits she and other group members aren’t aware of any precedent for a company paying back approved rate increases. Increases were approved by the Public Service Commission, which, in its decision to bump rates, called for improvements.
“We have no idea what they’re going to do with this,” Stevenson said.
The group wants other Tega Cay residents to email the state commission in support of its effort.
“We need all the citizens to support this,” Stevenson said.
John Marks • 803-831-8166