The Wooden Boat Show has been held for 23 years and is recognized as the “signature event” for Georgetown. This affair brings an estimated 15,000 or more people to our town. The Boat Show involves hundreds of volunteers and businesses who donate their time and treasure to support this event; it showcases our town at its best.
This year's Boat Show was marred by a power outage that occurred around 2:30 p.m. Power was not completely restored until after 7 p.m. The area affected was on the harbor side of Front Street where restaurants and stores were, for all purposes, out of business; they could not prepare food, use credit card machines, or deliver services. Tens of thousands of dollars in business was lost. The City also lost tax revenues because sales were not possible.
Why did this happen? Conditions and power demands this year seemed to me no different from previous years. Why was the response from our City Electric Company “non existent”? The power distribution system and infrastructure to deliver safe and reliable power is old and out of date. Why would a business want to relocate in Georgetown if we cannot provide reliable power? We frequently experience surges and brownouts and a home was recently destroyed by an electric fire in the last month.
This outage again raises the question: Why is Georgetown in the electric power business? Electric utilities such as Santee Cooper respond quickly to emergencies, maintain, and keep their distribution systems up to date. Santee Cooper has trained people and has the equipment and service vehicles to handle outages in a timely manner.
It is time for our mayor and council to appoint a committee of business owners and citizens to examine this issue and make recommendations to our city council to sell our electric utility to an existing private provider.
I hope that our elected officials will move forward and take steps address this issue. It is vital to our economic growth and safety.
Ben and Jene Klopp
City explains electric outage
The City of Georgetown’s Electric Utility Department would like to congratulate the Wooden Boat Show for hosting another outstanding event this weekend. This event gets bigger and better every year and brings people and positive attention to Georgetown. We hope it continues to grow and succeed.
Unfortunately, this year’s event experienced the loss of power to parts of Front Street during the height of the event due to electrical equipment failures. The City understands that it was a frustrating time for the event and for the neighboring merchants and restaurants operating at peak capacity. We’d like to thank those who exhibited patience and understanding as repairs were made. We’d also like to take a moment to describe the sequence of events in an effort to provide some understanding as to how and why things happened the way they did.
The fact that the outage occurred outside of normal working hours obviously means that staff has to be brought in for response. Our on-call technician was on site within 15 minutes of receiving the call. He quickly found a blown fuse and started investigating the underground system to determine what had caused the fuse to blow. In investigating underground outages, it is sometimes necessary to inspect equipment at several sites before discovering the problem. Visiting several sites along Front Street on a day when the street is blocked off and crowded with displays and visitors is a time-consuming task. During his inspection, he found that an elbow bushing had failed in the transformer enclosure behind the Rice Museum. He obtained the parts necessary to make the repair and completed this task at around 4:00 p.m., about an hour and a half after receiving the initial call. Upon re-energizing the system, he discovered that there was still a problem with voltage in one area, so he began another investigation. After again dealing with the crowded conditions, he discovered that a transformer had failed in another transformer enclosure. At this point, he called for extra assistance and the transformer was replaced. Repairs were completed at around 8:30 p.m.
Investigation and repairs such as these must be done with deliberation. While there is a definite sense of urgency, safety must be the most important consideration, especially when dealing with high voltage equipment in crowded areas. Access to electrical equipment was hampered by crowds, tents, vehicles and debris. There were two equipment failures, separate but related, that had to be repaired. The second failure was not evident until the first failure was repaired. Even under normal conditions, this would have been a time consuming process. The fact that these repairs had to be made in the midst of a major special event probably added 2 hours to the time it took to complete the repairs.
The purpose of this letter is not to place blame; in fact, there is no one to blame. The purpose of this letter is merely to attempt to provide some understanding as to what is involved in a situation like this. The equipment failure could not have happened at a worse time and we understand the frustrations involved. Did we learn from this event? Of course we did. We will continue, as we do now, to make every effort to ensure that any future response to outages during special events is done efficiently, thoroughly, and above all, safely.
The City’s Electric Utility Department wants to be a proud team player in this and other community events. We have breakers, receptacles and equipment set up in the Front Street area specifically to provide energy (at no charge) to events such as the Wooden Boat Show, the Harborwalk Festival, the recent Georgetown Rocks the Equinox music festival, and others. Before each event, we inspect and repair the equipment to ensure it is in safe and reliable operating condition. We assist in the planning stages when asked to make every effort to meet the needs of special events. Being a municipally-owned utility, we strongly believe in the value of such events and will go the extra mile to help them be successful. Again, congratulations to the Wooden Boat Show for another outstanding event. We look forward to more successful events in the future.
Alan J. Loveless, P.E.
Electric Utility Manager
Director of Electric Utility
City of Georgetown
Can we trust our county council?
Thank you very much for providing the good news about the harbor. Out of the 21 CIP under consideration for raising the sales one cent, the dredging option is the only one that can bring any real jobs to Georgetown. It is too bad that even though the dredging option is number one on the project list the council, Chamber of Commerce and other groups are using this as a carrot to get us to vote for a 40 million dollar tax increase. If port dredging can create new jobs, bring industry to our area and increase tonnage at the dock, then write the check. The county needs to pay for dredging the ship channel with existing funds. Look in the bottom drawer. I bet there is money in it.
I can live without 40 new ball fields, 20 new tennis courts and 11 million dollars for new libraries in the county. When the giant ball falls in NYC on 31 Dec we are in trouble. SS tax will increase 2%. Who knows what the federal income tax will be?
What if gas gets too high for the tourist to flood our city? The 40 million tax list was designed to attract support in different parts of the county, not based on the real merits of the various projects. We are losing county workers to better paying jurisdictions, no where does this increase include them. Any tax increase at this time is not a good idea.
County council tells us if we approve this tax increase, they will vote to repeal the impact fees we struggle with. This fee has done much harm to our county. It almost shut down the building supply boys, hurt the new home builders and makes me believe that I can not trust the county council to act in my best interest. “I’m a taxpayer, I have a horse in this race”.
Thank you, Georgetown
On behalf of the organizing committee and our nonprofit partners, I would like to offer sincere thanks to the people who made the 2nd Annual Historic Georgetown Bridge2Bridge Half Marathon & 5K a roaring success.
On Saturday, Oct. 13 nearly 150 volunteers from all over Georgetown County turned out in the early morning to support the race and participating runners. Law enforcement officials did a tremendous job ensuring the safety of the runners and drivers alike. Citizens lined the streets and cheered on participants (and I can tell you, as a runner myself, we are always grateful for the cheering!). Our visiting runners were very complimentary of the wonderful hospitality of the local hotels and Front Street business community.
In total some 500 runners from all over South Carolina and communities across 11 other states came to experience the Historic Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Half Marathon and 5K on a morning that could not have been more beautiful.
We are proud to have the opportunity, along with our sponsors, to promote our fine town and show it off to folks from as far away as Florida and New Hampshire. Georgetown’s own Bil Krauss entertained the race finishers at Francis Marion Park to help them celebrate their amazing accomplishments with friends and family. Many runners spent the rest of the day dining and shopping on Front Street and exploring other attractions within the Historic District. While the numbers are still out, the economic impact for the area is unquestionable.
In a new feature, we partnered with the Georgetown County Family YMCA to include a Kids’ Fun Run. Youngsters 12 and under sprinted down Front Street and had a grand time, and we are looking forward to working with the Y again next year.
The 2012 race was presented by International Paper, Georgetown Mill. Just as last year, proceeds from the Bridge2Bridge Run will benefit the Georgetown County United Way, the Georgetown Business Association, and the Iota Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scholarship Fund.
The Historic Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Half Marathon and 5K would not have been made possible without the numerous contributions mentioned above from local businesses, citizen volunteers and event sponsors. Again, we offer heartfelt thanks to Georgetown and are looking forward to hosting this event for many more years to come. See you next year.
Alma White for Clerk of Court
My name is Betty L. Williams and I am a former Clerk of Court for Georgetown, South Carolina. I was privileged to hold that position for twenty-two years. I am endorsing Alma Y. White, the present Clerk of Court, in her campaign for re-election. She is presently serving in her third term and from what I've witnessed she's made a great impact.
Alma is a former school teacher with the Georgetown County School District and also served on Georgetown City Council. She has adjusted well in her position as Clerk of Court and has implemented many improvements to the office.
I worked very closely with Alma when she was first elected and found that she is a quick learner and a people's person. Her goal is to serve the citizens of Georgetown as their Clerk of Court, with an office that is run efficiently, which I feel she has done.
As a former Clerk of Court, I can honestly say that this is a position that involves dedication to the office itself, but most importantly to the citizens of Georgetown. She has met with many challenges along the way, and has been successful.
The Clerk of Court must be dedicated because of the responsibility involved. The level of work consists of General Sessions Court, Common Pleas Court, Family Court, which covers all domestic cases, as well as juvenile cases. The clerk must interact with judges, attorneys, law enforcement officers and various other offices or organizations, and Alma has proven herself. She presents herself as a professional leader for the people she serves.
I have heard many praises for her and am asking the citizens of Georgetown to vote to reelect her once again to this great office. She is doing an outstanding job and I support her 100%; she has been very productive and has won the respect of many.
I look forward to once again having Alma Y. White elected as our Clerk of Court.
Betty L. Williams
Former Georgetown County Clerk of Court
Tammie Avant for Clerk of Court
There a lot of candidates, due to a problem with filing to run for office, that are listed as Petition Candidates. I am writing regarding Tammie Avant who is running as a Petition Candidate for the office of Georgetown County Clerk of Court. She has worked hard to get more than the required amount of signatures to be put her on the ballot as a Petition Candidate.
Over the campaign, I have gotten to know how qualified Tammie truly is for this position. She is friendly and is always respectful to all she meets. She has extensive knowledge of the Clerk's Office and vows to make it better for all involved. She is respected by attorneys and all who deal with the Clerk's Office. She has 26 years of legal experience. She is a true fiscal conservative who will work to make the Clerk's Office more efficient and is committed to total citizen transparency.
For those of you who may find it confusing, when you want to vote for a Petition Candidate here are some easy instructions. You can vote the straight party ticket. The next step is to go to the next page to view the Petition Candidates to vote for Tammie. I believe she is the best candidate for this position. She is an intelligent woman who is ready to serve Georgetown County and someone that the Republican Party has endorsed. I personally believe Tammie will be an asset to the Clerk's Office and hope you will support her and our Republican Ticket on Tuesday, November 6th.
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