The Fort Mill School District is getting legal advice to determine who is responsible for removing a water line found at the site of the new Riverview Elementary School.
The district uncovered the line, as well as a York County Natural Gas Line, while clearing the land. After contacting the Town of Fort Mill and the gas company they were told the lines were inactive and they could be removed.
The gas line was safely removed, but when they attempted to remove the water line, “Old Faithful erupted,” said Patrick White, school board chairman.
Now, the district needs that water line removed so construction can continue unimpeded, but there is debate over who is responsible for removal, White said.
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“Our attorney is researching everything he can because legally someone is required to move that line. We’re doing our due diligence to get an expert legal opinion to find out if the line is there legally or illegally,” White said.
Estimates are that it will cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to remove the water line, he added.
“We’re just trying to get the facts to find out who should pay. It has to be moved and there will be cost incurred. But we didn’t budget $100,000 to move the Town of Fort Mill’s water line,” White said.
Calls to Fort Mill Town Administrator Dennis Pieper and Media and Event Coordinator Kimberly Starnes were not returned, but a statement from Pieper was sent via email to the Fort Mill Times.
“We have a really good working relationship with the school board and their management team. We will have additional discussions with them,” the statement said.
The water line isn’t causing a delay in construction, White said. Construction on the school can begin as planned while the water line issue is being resolved.