Progress Made on Expanding Waste Water Services in Fairfield County
Fairfield County, the Town of Winnsboro, the Town of Ridgeway and the Fairfield Joint Water and Sewer District (the “Joint System”) have agreed to collaborate on a grant application to construct a waste water connector line between the Town of Ridgeway, the Fairfield Commerce Center and Winnsboro’s Jackson Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. The projects will ultimately be a part of a new waste water treatment facility in Fairfield County. In a special called meeting on August 26, Fairfield County Council approved a resolution to expend $5.1 million of the Dominion Settlement as a local match for the South Carolina Infrastructure Investment Program (SCIIP) Grant to construct the new sewer line connections.
“The agreement with the Town of Winnsboro allowing the Joint System to connect to the Town of Winnsboro’s wastewater plant as an interim solution to fast track needed sewage capacity for Fairfield County to grow and prosper in itself is transformational,” says Moses Bell, Fairfield County Council Chair. “I want to thank Mayor McMeekin, Mayor Cookendorfer, their staff, our administration team, the engineers, and attorneys, but especially our County Council for all the work and resources that went into this agreement to get it done.”
As part of a settlement with Dominion Energy, Fairfield County received approximately $45 million to build a wastewater treatment facility. In 2021, the County, along with the Town of Winnsboro, created the Fairfield Joint Water and Sewer District, an independent, political subdivision charged with building and maintaining a wastewater treatment system to serve all of Fairfield County. The Town of Ridgeway officially joined the Joint System on August 6, 2022.
“Our lack of planned wastewater infrastructure is the number-one obstacle in attracting and recruiting quality and high-paying jobs in Fairfield County,” says Malik Whitaker, Fairfield County Administrator. “This project is a wise regional solution that will attract the next wave of major economic development in Fairfield County. This is huge and we are thankful for the cooperation and support of the Towns and the community.”
If the grant is approved and the connection lines are constructed, the flow in the lines will be reversed from Winnsboro’s Jackson Creek plant to the Joint System’s new waste water treatment plant when it is complete. If the grant application isn’t approved, the funds will not be used for any other purpose and will remain with the settlement proceeds set aside for the waste water treatment plant.
“The agreement today is one of my most rewarding experience since becoming chair of the Fairfield County Council,” says Chairman Bell. “The impact is long term, as Fairfield County grows and prospers, it will be because of this agreement.”
The Joint System approved a request for proposals to complete the design of the waste water treatment plant with a goal of having the new plant constructed by 2027.