The following are statements taken directly from comments received by Spartanburg Water System, and the key facts you need to know. Be sure to click on each statement below for a drop-down answer.

  • “A three member board is not proper governance for an organization the size of Spartanburg Water. Two people can make critical decisions without the benefit of a larger number of independent views and debate. The board should also be representative of a larger area than just the city limits of Spartanburg.”

    Did You Know?

    • The residents of the City of Spartanburg have owned Spartanburg Water System since 1908 when they established the Commission of Public Works of the City of Spartanburg to manage their drinking water system. They established the very first filtration plant, created three reservoirs and have installed more than 1,300 miles of water lines.  Under the ownership of the City residents, the CPW planned, developed and continue to manage the three, drinking water reservoirs – Municipal Reservoir #1 (1926), Lake Bowen (1960), and Lake Blalock (1983). City residents have owned the land around and underneath all three reservoirs as soon as the land was purchased for their creation.
    • The Commission of Public Works of the City of Spartanburg is an entity that answers to the residents of the City of Spartanburg, and was established to manage Spartanburg Water System and all of its assets.
    • The citizens of the City of Spartanburg are the owners of the water system, and water provided to those outside of the City is a customer relationship. County residents pay a higher rate for their water as customers of the water system based on this ownership model.
    • Adding representation from outside the City of Spartanburg to the CPW would do away with the owner/customer model of the water system, causing an increase in water rates for City customers.
    • Additionally, as a benefit to the City, Spartanburg Water System participates in an Economic Participation Agreement that provides $1.04 million to the City each year to fund important economic development projects and services for City residents. This payment would go away entirely, should the ownership of SWS not remain with City residents.  The loss of this payment would also most likely mean higher taxes for all City residents. 
  • “No Taxation without Representation.”

    Did You Know?

    • Spartanburg Water System does not tax and does not receive any revenue from taxes. Water used by customers = revenue received.
    • When adjacent land owners refer to unfair tax rates that has nothing to do with the water system. They have always owned “lake view” property, not lakefront.
    • Since the CPW developed and built the three reservoirs, the City residents have always owned the land around and underneath the lakes.
    • When adjacent land owners refer to having to get a permit to build a dock, etc. - they are actually referring to land owned by the residents of the City of Spartanburg, and managed by the CPW. This certainly begs the question, if someone was planning to build a dock or cut down a tree on your property wouldn’t you want to know first?

     

  • “The homes around the lakes generate $10 million in tax revenue annually. The reduced value of these homes becoming lake view lots will result in a $5 million short fall in Spartanburg County’s tax revenue.”

    Did you know?

    • Property tax assessments by the County are determined by the prices of homes sold in the area – not by how far your property extends to the lake.
    • Again, adjacent land owners have always owned “lake view” property, not lakefront, since the creation of the three reservoirs in 1926 (Municipal Reservoir #1), 1960 (Lake Bowen) and 1983 (Lake Blalock).
    • Water quality for all helps to grow industry and investment in the entire region, which overall improves property values and creates jobs – for everyone, not just 1,700 lake residents
  • “Based on public records, SWS is 500 million dollars in debt. This is due to mismanagement of funds and frivolous spending.”

    Did You Know?

    • Actually, as of right now, SWS has $166.4 million of outstanding bond debt.
    • SWS has spent the past 10 years handling aging infrastructure issues, investing in water quality improvement technology and upgrading our Simms Water Treatment Plant.
    • SWS was recently upgraded by two, independent bond rating organizations – Standard & Poor, and Moody’s Investor Service – to A and AA ratings for superior financial performance.
    • SWS has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association every year since FY 2003, the first year that the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was submitted for award consideration.
  • “These rules and regulations are not fair to the homeowners who bought their home under certain conditions and with certain liberties and now SWS is wanting to take them away.”

    Did You Know?

    • Rules and regulations governing all three drinking water reservoirs have been in place for decades, for obvious reasons. Many have simply chosen to ignore them or bend the rules at the expense of the property surrounding the lakes and owned by the residents of the City of Spartanburg and managed by the CPW.
    • The Commission believes strongly that recreation and quality water supply can coexist, and outlined this belief in a January 2018 Water Quality Resolution.
    • This resolution also stated that if there is ever a conflict between the two, the protection of water quality supersedes the importance of providing for the enjoyment of those who use the lake for recreation purposes.