BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Monday, Santee Cooper’s Board of Directors held their monthly meeting at the Wampee conference center in Pinopolis.
The board heard more about the plan to sell the untility, a bill making its way through the Statehouse and how that plan might impact Santee Cooper.
The bill in Columbia would find the best purchase offer, the best private management offer and Santee Cooper’s best offer to reform and manage itself.
Some key issues were discussed. The lakes and the land surrounding the lakes would not be sold. But, a purchaser or management company would have to show they set aside money to fund those assets into the future.
Rate increases, and how often they happen, would have to be spelled out for many years into the future. They would also have to prove they will fund retiree benefits into the future.
The offers also have to include how many employees would be layed off, as well as where the corporate headquarters of the organization would be located.
“If approved, it would create a framework that I heard several of our board members say they believe would be fair to South Carolina residents and as well as Santee Cooper rate payers,” said Santee Cooper Spokeswoman, Mollie Gore.
Barbara Pratt is retired from Santee Cooper. She watched the video feed of today’s meeting and told us “It’s my opinion that selling Santee Cooper is ludicrous.”
But, she still hopes Santee Cooper remains an agency run by the state. “I’ve already earned the health insurance and I’m gonna do everything in my power to fight to keep it.” She believes that is the only way retirement and insurance promises will be kept.
The deal has to make it through the House and then be signed by Governor Henry McMaster.
Governor Henry McMaster has pushed to sell Santee Cooper since July 2017 and last week, the State Senate voted to allow the department of administration to seek offers to see the state-owned utility.