Harlem officials agreed Monday to partner with the city of Thomson to provide water to some Harlem residents.
City council members voted at their monthly meeting to allow Mayor Bobby Culpepper to negotiate terms of a contract for Thomson to extend a water line, currently at the McDuffie/Columbia County border, to the city and install a booster pump station that would provide a backup water source, said Jean Dove, city manager.
"It is good to have another source," Dove said.
Columbia County Water Utility provides most of the water used by Harlem's about 2,000 residents along with three city wells.
"The wells have been in operation for many years," Dove said. "If Columbia County goes down, the wells do not provide enough water."
City officials have explored drilling more wells, but the venture is costly and does not guarantee a fully-functioning well.
"Columbia County will still be our main water source," Dove said. "They have been very good to us."
Thomson will pay to extend the line and install the booster pump station. Harlem will bear the cost of extending the line to a water tank on Sawdust Road. The water from Thomson will be used to fill that tank if needed.
Dove said she didn't have cost estimates because Thomson will be taking the lead on the bid process, which has not yet started.
Officials from both cities will negotiate specifics before an agreement is finalized, Dove said.
Also at the meeting, Harlem officials opted not to install a three-way stop on East Trippe Street at Ballard Drive. They said there is not enough traffic and that traffic control devices should not be used to control speed.
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