Joe Toppe Staff Writer
August 29, 2013
PICKENS – An unwritten rule may one day become an ordinance in the City of Pickens.
The city’s council met last week to discuss the possibility of creating an ordinance requiring annexation for anyone outside the city to make use of its water and sewer system.
According to City Administrator Katherine Hendricks, the city has always required annexation for those wishing to utilize the city’s sewer system but is now considering the formality of an ordinance for the process.
“No one in particular is being annexed,” Hendricks said. “The policy has to do with requiring annexation before allowing connection to the water and sewer system for new taps. We have required annexation for sewer connection for many, many years.”
Mayor David Owens said the formation of a city ordinance is currently under consideration.
“The city has always had a policy of requiring annexation before allowing people outside the city’s limits to use the sewer system, but we are now considering making this process official with an ordinance,” he said.
According to an official at the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC), an ordinance requiring annexation for city services is of common practice.
“It is a common practice among municipalities to require annexation prior to the provision of water and sewer services,” said Legislative and Public Policy Advocate for the MASC, Scott Slatton. “In fact, the requirement has been challenged a number of times over the years but has been upheld all the way to the highest levels of the state court system. “
Slatton said an ordinance will give the force of law to the annexation policy already in place in the City of Pickens.
During a work session meeting last week, the Pickens City Council discussed the proposition of an ordinance and may move forward on the issue in the future.