Mo’ Town Money

Last month, a jury determined the Town of Lexington must pay Carolina Water Service $7.25 million for a wastewater facility it took over in 2017.  But the Town’s bill may grow.

In the two week eminent domain condemnation trial, Carolina Water, now Blue Granite Water (BGW), was asking for $12.8 million in compensation for the facility whereas the Town offered $2.02 million.

In a recent court filing, lawyers for BGW have filed a motion asking the court for another $1.13 million. The claim, a “motion for entry of amended judgement” is a based on a South Carolina law that requires the Town to pay interest on the judgement ($7.25 million) “From on the date of the Condemnation Notice (October 9, 2017) through the date of verdict or judgement by the court (September 20, 2019).” The interest is based on a rate of 8%.

Further, should the Town fail to pay the total judgement plus interest within a 20-day grace period of the judgement (October 10, 2019) the interest increases by almost $300,000 and the interest rate rises to 9.5%.

So, if the motion is granted, the total amount the Town must pay will be at least $8,381,397.

However…

In a FOIA request submitted in the Spring, L&M asked for a  list of costs incurred by the Town in it’s pursuit of CWS properties. This included another facility in addition to.the I-20 plant, the one being litigated, although the bulk of the sum WAS for I-20. That total as of five months ago was almost $5M, a figure no doubt larger today.  An updated FOIA request submitted last month has not yet been returned.

Town legal fees, then, are likely to exceed $3 million.  So, add that $3 million for an estimated $11.8 million.

But WAIT! There’s more.

Estimates for equipment and line upgrades and other operational costs incurred by the Town could add yet another $9 million.

It is reasonable, then, to expect tithe total Town outlay for the I-20 wastewater facility to exceed $20 million.

/CS/

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