Walhalla’s $610K vote to be in two weeks

Walhalla leaders are balking on the question of whether the Joint Regional Sewer Authority should release county government from an annual financial obligation. As a member city of the JRSA, Walhalla City Council gets a say on whether to rescind an agreement that pays the JRSA $610 thousand until the year 2038. Last night the mayor and council, meeting as Walhalla’s utilities committee, took heed to Councilman Tjay Bagwell’s recommendation that Walhalla vote no. Bagwell gave as his top reason the concern that individual Walhalla sewer customers could be left holding the bag if some day the need arose to expand or build a new treatment plant. The committee’s action last night amounts to a recommendation to be sent for a formal vote at city council’s December meeting. Walhalla’s elected leaders took up the matter at City Hall—one night after the board of the JRSA voted to pose the question to its member cities, of which Walhalla is one. Across town last night, the Oconee County Council gave second reading to an ordinance that authorizes the county administrator to request an accounting of the $610 thousand that the county has paid the sewer authority during the last eight years. The money was allocated by the county for the purpose of extending sewer service to rural areas. But Seneca’s Greg Dietterick said this week that the business of sewer in Oconee has reached a new day, with the passage of a countywide referendum last year that allows county government to spend tax money on sewer work.