Water line creeping along Rimer Pond Road

BLYTHEWOOD – While surveying continues along both sides of Rimer Pond Road for construction of the City of Columbia’s proposed 48-inch water line, City Water Engineer Jason Shaw, manager of the project, maintains that the line is still planned for the east side of the road where most of the homes are located and that the City does not plan to lay the line in the road right of way, but intends to secure easements on the private properties along the road.

“We haven’t changed our original strategy,” Shaw told The Voice. But he did say that in some places along the road it might be more suitable to run the line on the opposite side of the road for some distance. He did not say which areas that might include.

Shaw said that after the surveying is finished later this summer, work will begin on a detailed design for construction of the line. He said the City could begin drawing up easement agreements for property owners to sign as early as the first of next year. But the City will have to reach an agreement with the property owners before going onto the private properties.

“The construction is not in this year’s budget,” Shaw said. “Construction probably won’t begin until budget year 2015-2016.”

Asked what the property owners would be offered in exchange for their property easement rights, Shaw said that would be decided on a case by case basis. The line will follow Rimer Pond Road all the way to Kershaw County and continue in a circle back to the City of Columbia.

In a phone interview earlier this year, Engineer Joey Jaco told The Voice that the purpose of the proposed water line was to improve water pressure and flow services to Northeast Columbia.

“It is also our intent to provide water service to the properties along Rimer Pond Road,” Jaco said.

Once the City acquires the easements, Jaco said the City could remove trees and make improvements in those easements as necessary to construct the line. He said those residents who agree to receive Columbia water would be required to sign a covenant agreeing to be annexed into the City of Columbia should their property ever become contiguous with the City.

Shaw told The Voice that the City plans to meet with property owners at a location on the road, perhaps at one of the schools, before they begin asking residents to sign easement agreements.

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