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      Emergency repairs set for Timmonsville water and sewer systems

      Florence City Council voted Monday to move forward with the take over of the Timmonsville water and sewer systems.

      The vote came during a special called meeting on matters with the Town of Timmonsville.

      The official take over won't be complete for 45 days, but repairs are expected to start in the next two weeks.

      Council says it will make $4 million in emergency repairs to Timmonsville water and sewer systems, including boosting water pressure to Honda of Timmonsville.

      The money was secured through loans and federal and state grants. Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela says residents won't see an immediate change in the water quality, because it's going to take time to get to the heart of the town's water and sewer problems.

      Residents have complained about water problems in Timmonsville for more than 10 years.

      The water and sewer systems problems have resulted in lawsuit against the town by SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Environmental Protection Agency over sewage discharges and violations of the Clean Water Act.

      The City of Florence says its working with state and federal health regulators to address problems cited in the lawsuit.

      Timmonsville has also been hit with a class action lawsuit from residents over water quality. In June, Timmonsville residents passed a referendum to allow the City of Florence to take over the town's water and sewer systems.

      Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson says relief is coming to the people of Timmonsville, and they should be relieved by the quick response from Florence to improve water and sewer problems.

      Florence is expected to spend more than $12 million in next few years to repair the town's water and sewer systems.

      It will also assume a $6 million loan Timmonsville had acquired with US Department of Agriculture to repair the town's wastewater treatment plant.