Sully’s Scoop

  • Thursday, July 18, 2013

Q. Who’s responsible for landscape on Hospital Drive? Overhanging branches make it difficult for 2 bikes to pass on sidewalks. - Twitter follower, Mount Pleasant

A. “Multiple entities maintain the areas of Hospital Drive from Mathis Ferry to Bowman Roads. The town maintains the roundabout and the hospital maintains the areas fronting its property including the median and road shoulders. The various business owners fronting the street maintain the other portions of the road. It does appear that there are some lower limbs at the storage facility, namely the bald cypress growing in that area.” - Eddie Bernard, RLA, LEED AP, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Town of Mount Pleasant- Planning Department

Q. What about plans to replace some of the trees that were planted along the road and died, and the shrubbery in the small raised beds around the roundabout in front of the entrance into Hamlet Square? Many of those plants are totally gone. In light of the fact that Highway 17 is looking so incredibly fantastic, it would be nice to be assured that any landscaping installed would be routinely maintained as plants and infrastructure need replacement due to damage or dying out. Gretchen Kaylor

A. “In late March we replaced all of the dead trees along Mathis Ferry Road that we were aware of, although another few dogwoods have since died, which we will look to replace in the future. There have been a couple of incidents involving vehicles which have caused some damage to plantings in the Hospital Drive/Mathis Ferry roundabout. We are currently looking at providing some replacements around town to include Highway 17N between the Isle of Palms Connector and I-526 and will follow up on the roundabouts in the future as well.” - Eddie Bernard, RLA, LEED AP, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Town of Mount Pleasant- Planning Department

Q. How did this get approved: “Introducing the new Mount Pleasant Waterworks bill. Commissioners approved date changes to charges in June 2012?

- Current Charges Due Date 6/11/2013

- Current Balance $0.00

- Current Charges $80.24

- If received on or after 6/12/2013 $85.24

- If received on or after 6/18/2013 $105.24

- If received on or after 7/4/2013 $160.24”

Margaret Bozic, Mount Pleasant

A. “The late charges are not new and have been in practice for years. The only change in the collections process was the date when the $20 charge is assessed to unpaid accounts. This change allows Mount Pleasant Waterworks to apply this charge before the next month’s bill is processed. Otherwise the customer would receive a bill, come in to pay the late bill and have the charge applied manually upon collection.

We wanted to clearly communicate prior to that point that a late charge is due. In many cases late-paying customers would incur two charges within one week ($20 and $55) without ever seeing them on a bill. This situation created poor relations.

To better communicate with customers about the potential delinquent charges we thought it best to show it right on the bill. No surprises. As a utility we want to help our customers through the collections process and better communicate the charges they will incur.

The cost of providing call center personnel and account management staff is paid for through the delinquent charges. We feel it is fair for the customers who pay late to satisfy those cost instead of the customers who pay on time. The changes to the dates the fees were to be applied was approved a year ago, and implemented with our new bill design so that all charges and dates would be clearly communicated to our customers. The new bill design was discussed at four public meetings prior to implementation.

Since releasing our new bill, MPW has received comments from our customers who both agree and disagree with this process. For those customers who pay late repeatedly, these fees are not new.

Customers who always paid on time had never seen the effect of late payment penalties because they always paid on time. Some customers expressed concern for customers who have difficulty paying. We share that concern and encourage those customers to pay on time so as to not have to pay any additional penalties. ” Clay Duffie, Mount Pleasant Waterworks Director

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