Sales tax funds help Wagener improve water system

  • Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:36 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:08 p.m.
Staff photo by Haley Hughes
Capital Projects Sales Tax round two made possible the new veterans park in downtown Wagener.
Staff photo by Haley Hughes Capital Projects Sales Tax round two made possible the new veterans park in downtown Wagener.

 
 
Editor's note: Today, the Aiken Standard looks at the projects in the Town of Wagener that were slated for funding in round two of Aiken County's Capital Projects Sales Tax program. Wagener was to be included in part four of the four-part series, but information was unavailable at the time.

 
 
Much of what the Town of Wagener accomplished with revenue from round two of the one-cent sales tax program is underground.

Miles of water line stretching from Wagener-Salley High School to South Busbee Street and Highway 302 to Highway 39 were replaced. Worn valves on main lines were replaced, as well.

A total of $106,000 was allocated for the projects.

“We kind of hit a home run with that one,” said Wagener Mayor Mike Miller, noting that the town also received a $500,000 grant to help fund the work. The additional funding meant the scope of work could be expanded and more miles of water line could be replaced than originally intended.

But, there is still work to be done.

“We've got 8-inch asbestos water lines that are 60 to 70 years old, and there's one left to replace. It doesn't expand or contract like the new ones, and consequently it breaks. We're patching and praying until it breaks again,” Miller said.

He believes the work that was completed would never have been possible had it not been for the one-cent sales tax program.

“It made it all possible. We would have to raise our water rates eight- to 10-fold to pay for the work (without the program),” he said.

Wagener also appropriated $125,000 to purchase and install new water meters and to purchase a new radio meter reading system.

Meter reading took waterworks personnel two to three days to complete before. Now, with the new reading system, it takes two to three hours. New billing software for the waterworks department helps, as well, because the radio reading system can be plugged directly into a computer and the data downloaded quickly for billing purposes.

The town also has a new veterans park thanks to the sales tax program, two new light rescue trucks, a new camera system to inspect the town's sewer lines, and a new radio system for the Wagener Police Department.

Unfortunately, the $15,000 allocated to the paving of the fire department's driveway was not enough, Miller said. Crush and run as been laid down instead, and the paving will be completed with revenue from round three of the Capital Projects Sales Tax program.

Renovations to the town-owned Yaspen Building to accommodate a community center were not completed. The building, a vacant sewing mill, was deemed not to be appropriate for a community center after numerous studies.

That project is on hold, according to Miller.

Notable Projects

• $106,000 for water line and valve replacement

Miles of water line stretching from Wagener-Salley High School to South Busbee Street and Highway 302 to Highway 39 were replaced. Worn valves on main lines were replaced, as well. An additional $500,000 to help fund the work came from a grant.

Status: Completed

 
 
• $30,000 to purchase a light rescue truck

The town was able to purchase two trucks with the funds available

Status: Completed

 
 
• $25,000 for a veterans park

The park is located along the town-owned railroad right-of-way. It features a memorial wall in honor and memory of heroes and Wagener past and present.

Status: Completed

Town of Wagener

 
 
 
 
• $20,000 for fire department capital improvements – completed

• $85,000 for a water tender and capital accessories for fire department – completed

• $30,000 to purchase a light rescue truck and capital accessories for the fire department – completed

• $125,000 to purchase and install new water meters, a new radio meter reading system and necessary hardware for the town's waterworks department – completed

• $20,000 for new billing software for the town's waterworks department – completed

• $49,000 to replace worn valves and on main lines for the town's waterworks department – completed

• $22,500 to purchase a utility truck for the town's waterworks department – completed

• $30,000 to purchase a new patrol car and capital accessories for the police department – completed

• $203,000 for capital renovations to the town-owned Yaspen Building to accommodate a community center – on hold

• $30,500 for street sign replacement – completed

$218,000 for capital improvements to town parks as follows:

- $3,000 for Gunter Park – completed

- $50,000 for Crescent Cities Park – completed

- $125,000 for downtown park development along town-owned railroad right-of-way – completed

- $15,000 for Selvern Road Park – completed

- $25,000 for Veterans Park – completed

$137,500 for replace or repair town sidewalks as needed – completed

$57,000 to replace town water line from Hwy. 39 to South Busbee Street and Hwy. 302 – completed

$14,500 to purchase a camera system to inspect the town sewer lines – completed

$12,500 to purchase a new radio system for the town police department – completed

$15,000 to pave the driveway for the fire department – not enough money; crush and run installed instead

$15,000 to purchase new reporting software for the town police department – completed

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