MONCKS CORNER — Berkeley County Council will take a closer look at the water and sewer budget in light of the department's recent spending.
Council on Monday voted to have the utility turn over an accounting of all of its capital projects before deciding whether it can change its name and logo to Berkeley Environmental Services.
Council members said they were concerned that the change, in addition to a number of other projects the council recently approved, might require a rate increase.
"We need to get a handle on where the money is coming from," Councilman Dennis Fish said.
Supervisor Dan Davis said Tuesday that no rate increase is planned at the moment. The agency is having a study done now that will be finished in December.
Authority Director Colin Martin said changing the department's name and logo would cost about $4,600 initially, with an additional cost of $10,000 a year for the next 10 years to put the new logo on each of the county's water towers.
Davis said he didn't understand why the council would be concerned that a rate increase would be required because to him, the two topics are unrelated.
"They don't have to hold the effort hostage to get the information they want," he said. "All they have to do is ask. They're County Council. We'll give them anything they want to know."
Fish said he's always been told in the past that the money for the projects is "in the budget." Putting the project on hold will allow council to see what exactly is in the budget, he said.
In recent months, the county has approved the expansion of the authority's new building and new furniture. Council members grew concerned when they also found out that the authority is funding the rate study.
"I just don't want to go out and spend a bunch of money and then come back next year and be asked for an increase in rates," Councilman Bill Crosby said.
Davis said the study needs to be done periodically. It doesn't mean the rates will be increased.
The last rate study determined there didn't need to be an increase, he said.
Reach Andy Paras at 745-5891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.