SANTEE, S.C. — While boasting about the overall fiscal fitness of the town’s budget forecast at a recent Santee Town Council workshop, Mayor Donnie Hilliard blushed over the reasons the wastewater budget is a bit strained.
“It turns out that latex has improved over the years. Consequently, prophylactics are really clogging up the sprinkler heads of our wastewater system,” Hilliard said during the April 24 work session at the Cultural Arts Building. “We have a lot of motel rooms. … And forgive me, ladies, but we find a lot of those things (feminine hygiene products) swirling around in our filters that are choking up our system.”
One could blame an increase in safer sex and a boost in motel stays for the potential increase in wastewater rates next year, Hilliard said.
Coincidentally, Santee’s current $760,000 local tourism budget is projected to jump $20,600 to $780,600 next year, he said. The state is supposed to contribute an additional $290,000 in accommodation tax revenue.
With more tourism comes more flushing and stoppages in the town’s 40-year-old wastewater system.