SENECA, S.C. —The Oconee County Joint Regional Sewer Authority (OJRSA) has launched a community-wide study that is entering an engagement phase to provide key information to help plan future growth throughout the county.
The Central Basin Sewer Planning Study will collect and analyze the most recent data (including but not limited to census data, recent growth projections, land use, current and planned sewer infrastructure, and stakeholder provided information in planning for future growth over the next 20 years (2024-2044) and provide a proactive approach in sewer infrastructure planning and capital spending.
The public is invited to take advantage of digital and in-person engagement activities to share ideas, opportunities, and challenges that will inform the study. The project website (www.ojrsa.org/sewer-study) will be updated with new information on February 2, 2024, and will be updated regularly throughout the project. The website will feature news and upcoming-event information, and feedback tools including an interactive comment map and survey.
There are three in-person project open houses scheduled in February: Thursday, February 8 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Walhalla Depot; Thursday, February 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Westminster Depot; and Thursday, February 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Seneca City Hall. Each open house will include a brief presentation and activities for all ages. The public is invited to attend whichever session best fits their schedule as the content presented will be the same at each event and will also be made available on the project website. Feedback will be analyzed to determine common themes and community priorities and preferences for sewer growth.
“Oconee County is experiencing tremendous growth,” said Chris Eleazer, executive director of the OJRSA. “This growth leads to questions about investment in infrastructure, including where, when, and how. With big decisions ahead, major sewer projects require thoughtful conversations that weigh costs and benefits. This study will provide the necessary data, public input, and analyses we need to identify the current and future needs within the county.”
Bolton & Menk, Inc., a civil/municipal planning and engineering firm, will serve as the engagement consultant on the project. Public input is a key component of the project and will be ongoing through much of the process.
“We are proud to partner with OJRSA on this project and help create a viable, strategic growth plan that will best serve all residents of Oconee County,” said Katherine Amidon, senior environmental planner for Bolton & Menk, Inc. “We believe all people should live in safe, sustainable, and beautiful communities. When it comes to long-term planning, we know that listening to the community and developing an understanding of the various perspectives is vital to creating solutions that work. The project team is committed to ensuring equity and inclusion are considered in both our public process and our planning solutions.”
About the Oconee Joint Regional Sewer Authority:
The Oconee Joint Regional Sewer Authority (OJRSA) is a governmental agency providing wastewater treatment service to the cities of Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster, the town of West Union and their surrounding areas. Learn more at www.ojrsa.org.