Saturday, August 15, 2009

LMRWA eyes construction of Holly Hill, Calhoun Phase II reaches

By Martha Rose Brown, T&D Correspondent Saturday, August 15, 2009

With the Santee waterline reaches up and running, the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency is proceeding with plans to start construction within the next few months of the Holly Hill and Calhoun County Phase II waterlines.

During this month’s meeting of the LMRWA, held at the water treatment facility in Santee, plant operations official Darla Barnette and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative Patrick O’Donnell announced that the process for securing construction bids and permits is under way for the initial phase of the Holly Hill reach, which will ultimately supply water from Lake Marion to the Holly Hill area.

Currently, the Town of Santee is the only customer that is completely tapped into and using the LMRWA to supply its water – other towns and areas also plan to tie into the regional water system.

LMRWA and Army Corps of Engineers officials are working together to hold a “media event” when construction begins for the Holly Hill reach, which will initially connect Wells Crossroad to the LMRWA water treatment facility in Santee.

O’Donnell tentatively set a date in late October for the ceremony in Holly Hill.

Barnette said the Holly Hill reach will “leave from the Santee reach and come down through, parallel to Interstate 95 and cut over to Highway 15 down to Wells Crossroad.”

The waterline will measure approximately 36,600 linear feet – a total of six miles.

Also during the meeting, auditor James “Jamie” Michaelson of the firm Robert E. Milhouse CPA, whose main office is in Columbia, issued a “clean opinion” of LMRWA’s financial statements for FY 2008, which ended Dec. 31.

According to the balance sheet, LMRWA has $56,238,018 in total assets combined with total liabilities and net assets. With the water system serving its first customers beginning last year, LMRWA gained $112,396 in total operating revenue (which includes membership fees and volumetric revenue).

The LMRWA has been the recipient of approximately $51.9 million in federal, state and local contributions to aid in the construction of the water treatment plant and distribution systems, according to the audit.

The water treatment plant’s capacity is eight million gallons per day.

The next regular meeting of the LMRWA will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Lake Marion Regional Water Treatment Plant in Santee.

T&D Correspondent Martha Rose Brown can be reached by e-mail at Discuss this and other stories online at

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