JWC Faces Lawsuit Over Campground Expansion

JENKINSVILLE – The owner of a campground near the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station has filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas against the Jenkinsville Water Company (JWC) after the company turned down a request to increase the number of sites at the campground.

In the suit filed Sept. 28, Glenn E. Bowens, a Winnsboro attorney representing Broad River Campground, LLC, alleges a breach of contract by the water company, as well as a breach of contract “by a fraudulent act.” The suit also seeks a declaratory judgment to determine the rights of both parties in respect to an Oct. 28, 2009 agreement in which the water company agreed to provide up to 8,050 gallons a day of water to Phase 1 of the Broad River Campground.

Under the 2009 contract, the daily consumption of water per site was estimated at 175 gallons per day, with the number of sites not to exceed 46 without written approval by the Jenkinsville Water Company. The water company agreed to consider increasing its commitment of water if the campground wished to expand, the lawsuit states, “but only if that can be done without negatively impacting other customers of the water system.”

In 2011, Dee Melton, owner of the campground, requested and received approval for an additional 24 sites. The daily consumption of water per site was lowered to 53 gallons per day, based on a water study and use history since 2009 of the campground. The 8,050 gallons per day limit, meanwhile, remained in place.

Last May, Melton requested an additional 50 sites and sought from the Jenkinsville Water Company a willingness to serve letter, which is required by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). While the lawsuit states that Melton did not request an increase of actual water beyond the 8,050 gallons per day limit, the water company “has unreasonably refused permission for the additional campsites.”

That refusal, the lawsuit alleges, constitutes a breach of the parties’ contract.

The suit further alleges that Jenkinsville Water Company President Gregrey Ginyard and other members of the JWC Board of Directors “acting in furtherance of their personal interests, have conspired, obstructed and prevented the (JWC) board from approving” the requested letter to DHEC.

“The Plaintiff (Broad River Campground) was told by a member of the (JWC) board that her vote was controlled by Ginyard,” the suit alleges. “The Plaintiff was also informed by two additional board members that Ginyard has ‘his puppets’ on the board.”

“Everybody knows that’s not true,” Ginyard said last week. “If it was vice versa and someone was saying someone was controlling Greg Ginyard’s thoughts, I would be angry. That’s saying that these people don’t have a mind of their own.”

Melton, whose request to the JWC Board for reconsideration was turned down Monday night, would not comment in detail about the pending lawsuit. He did say, however, that his campground was, at present, only using about 20 percent of the water allocated to them by the JWC.

“We offered to work with them and they don’t seem to be willing to work with us,” Melton said.

“People get angry because things don’t go the way they want them to go,” Ginyard said. “Nothing in this world goes your way all the time and you’ve got to accept it. That doesn’t mean it was done wrong. On a 10-member board, I am just one vote.”

The JWC’s refusal to provide the willingness to serve letter to DHEC has caused the Broad River Campground to lose revenue, the suit alleges. Melton and his attorney have requested a jury trial and are seeking punitive damages, attorney fees and consequential damages.

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