Abbeville Opera House

Abbeville Courthouse and Opera House

Solving problems before they happen will cost $600,000.

The Abbeville City Council approved a resolution Wednesday at an emergency meeting to seek funds to upgrade an electrical tie-in point in the Lake Secession and Lowndesville area.

A tie-in point is essentially a substation that ties into another power grid, in this case, the Duke electrical grid.

Up to 1,270 people are expected to be directly affected by the project, said Mike Clary, the city’s deputy administrative director. The upgrade will let the city more quickly pinpoint problems. Another 1,330 people could see benefits as well.

Funds are being sought through the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s BRIC (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities) grant. It is a new pre-disaster hazard mitigation program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Potential savings include savings associated with less responses by city crews for power outages and shorter responses when outages occur; as well as fewer interruptions from outages, according to Clary.

Risks are instances of higher than normal electrical outages due to the length of the main line, which feeds power to the areas. The goal is to reduce the frequency and duration of outages. Clary said the city has gotten complaints on outages.

City officials should be informed within several weeks as to whether the request for grant funds will be approved, Clary said.

Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.