JENKINSVILLE — Tension was high between the board members and customers of the Jenkinsville Water Company during its annual meeting held Jan. 13 at Jenkinsville/Monticello/Hareb Fire Department.
Jenkinsville Water Company, a non-profit corporation, provides water to customers in the Jenkinsville community of Fairfield County but controversy has been a continuous issue for some time regarding the status and strategic management of the entity.
An overview of some projects was given then the floor was opened to the members for questions and comments.
One of the main issues from the floor was that the members were not invited to be engaged in some of the management processes, namely the revision of the bylaws and the transparency of the executive sessions and that all information was not shared with the shareholders in a timely manner.
The Attorney General for South Carolina had been asked to give an opinion on the status of the Jenkinsville Water Company. State officials have said the Jenkinsville Water Company is a public body and required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.
Billy Hendrix, a longtime member, questioned the board about the revenue loss and the status of the water treatment plant on the Broad River.
Jeff Schaffer, after being denied the floor because of a question of membership and later proven indeed to be a stockholder with a meter, inquired about the legality of the bylaw revision, DHEC fees, and the cost of fuel in the budget report.
A few other members asked why they were not in the loop concerning the management and other changes within the company. They claimed that since JWC was a public body, FOIA should be enforced.
Many customers were met with defensive remarks and hostility. The sergeant of arms deputy was called on by the Greg Ginyard, president of the company, on several occasions.
Other topics included a request made by Shiloh Church Cemetery to have a part-time or discounted bill rather than paying the basic fee of $24 per month for no use.
Ginyard said that this was in the bylaws way before he came aboard as a member over 38 years ago and he couldn’t see changing it for one and not for others. He suggested paying the bill rather than getting a meter taken out and then re-installed at a cost of $300.
Ginyard also reminded the members that the water company was in the business to make money and they were charging less to their customers for water than what they paid Mid-County Water Company in Winnsboro.
Ginyard also said that they have had three rate increases from MWC but did not pass the increase on to the Jenkinsville Water members.
A financial report was presented by Yvette Jones of Jones Financial with several copies being revised and recopied. Some members had questions regarding the budget.
After door prizes were awarded, board member elections were held for two openings for the three-year term and one opening for an unfinished one year term.