Bethel Systems Transfer Approved

Bethel Systems Transfer Approved

April 29, 2021

Greenville Utilities will soon get a new addition to our Water Resources systems – the Town of Bethel’s water and wastewater facilities. Our Board of Commissioners and Greenville City Council unanimously approved the Bethel transfer agreement and capital projects budget during a virtual joint meeting on April 19th, the Bethel Board of Commissioners approved the transfer on April 15th.  

Under the agreement, the City of Greenville will own the systems for the use and benefit of GUC being responsible for the operation and maintenance. In addition, we will officially gain an estimated 750 new customers.  

“Part of GUC’s vision is to serve as the foundation of growth for the Greenville region,” said Director of Water Resources Randy Emory, “and the Bethel project goes in hand with this vision. We are already serving the Bethel community as a wholesale customer, and now we can take full responsibility in ensuring these customers are given exceptional customer service at the lowest reasonable cost.” 

Bethel customers currently pay some of the highest water/sewer rates in the region, and the proposed rate estimate is a 23% reduction in their water and sewer bill. This includes a monthly surcharge to pay off Bethel’s existing debt over the next 20 years. Our Finance staff will lower the interest rate by refinancing the $3.5 million of outstanding debt.  

Next Steps 

The transfer becomes official on July 1st, however our Water Resources, Finance, Information Technology, and Customer Relations Departments, along with the Meter Section have already begun working with Bethel staff and customers to ensure a smooth transition. Customer information transfer and meter change-outs will take place between May and July.  

Improvements to the two systems will be managed by GUC using $4.5 million in grants awarded to Bethel by the State of North Carolina. Part of the grant money was used to study the feasibility of GUC taking ownership and making system improvements. Design of the capital improvement projects will begin in May (see sidebar for improvement plan). 

We will continue to share updates and construction photos in Spotlight as the project moves forward.