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Stegall proud of compressed natural gas, Centennial event during tenure

Projects Inland Port to ignite another boom for Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Mayor Rick Danner reads a proclamation commending Greer Commission of Public Works General Manager Nick Stegall.

Jim Fair

Mayor Rick Danner reads a proclamation commending Greer Commission of Public Works General Manager Nick Stegall.



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City Council honored Greer CPW General Manager on his retirement – that becomes official Friday.

Jim Fair

City Council honored Greer CPW General Manager on his retirement – that becomes official Friday.



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"I am real proud of our compressed natural gas filling station here and our efforts to convert our vehicles and promote that whole idea across the state."

Nick Stegall

Retiring Greer CPW General Manager



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The proclamation presented to Nick Stegall, retiring Greer CPW General Manager.

The proclamation presented to Nick Stegall, retiring Greer CPW General Manager.



Part I, click here.

Nick Stegall ends his 4 ½ -year tenure as General Manager at Greer Commission of Public Works Friday, the day of his formal retirement from lifetime service to public works. Stegall has served Greer on a myriad of boards including the Greer Development Corporation, Partnership for Tomorrow, Village Hospital Advisory Board and the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce.

In Part II of an interview with GreerToday.com that was as much reflective as looking ahead, Stegall shared what he saw as his greatest accomplishments and contributions and what lies ahead for the Greer’s future.

Q. What do you foresee the inland port do for Greer in regards of business, industry, residential and quality of life.

A. I think it is going to be a boom for Greer. Even at this point if you’re looking to place a large industry in South Carolina or the surrounding states, you would look at Greer. You may decide to look somewhere else. But if you are going to build a large warehouse or a large manufacturing facility or a trucking facility, I think all three would at least look at Greer, because of the inland port. They may decide to go someplace else but I feel that they will have to look at Greer.

Q. What is the status of the substation to serve the east side and additional power needs in the coming years.

A. That’s been a struggle. We’ve had trouble finding a willing seller for a site. GSP wants to lease (the site) and I understand their concerns about that. They have limitations. The substation back here (behind McCall Street) is about 100 years old and to lease something not knowing how long it can stay there, and not knowing if you would have to move it is a concern. It would cost more to move that station than it would to build it new. An electric substation is one of the hardest things I can think of to move. We really wanted to own the property. We’ve looked at a number of properties and we’ve talked to several sellers. I think we identified a site now that would work well for us but we have not finalized or purchased it yet.

Q. What is the achievement you are most proud at CPW?

A. I am real proud of our compressed natural gas filling station here and our efforts to convert our vehicles and promote that whole idea across the state. The inflow and infiltration project to replace some of the older sewer lines. To stop or minimize that inflow into the sewer lines, that means that water has to go to the plant and be treated. Those efforts were major projects.

Q. And a customer relations project that promoted CPW to its customers and community?

A. It was the celebration of the Centennial and at the same time I think it was almost as important that I was in a position to promote the idea of a commission. What is a commission about, it’s to make customers and our partners aware of the way we are structured.

I believe in the makeup of the structure and makeup of the commission of public works. The fact that all the decisions we make are local decisions for local people.  And the commissioners are locally elected. We do only have three commissioners but that means they can always make a quick decision. It’s a lot easier to discuss issues if you have a smaller commission like that and come to a conclusion how to resolve things.  If you have a much bigger board it’s harder to come to a consensus.

Q. The F.O.G. (fats, oil, grease) standard put in place by CPW to control grease from clogging pipes and drains appeared controversial between downtown restaurant owners and city council. It appeared CPW was enforcing DHEC standards. What happened?

A. The program can vary a little bit, but EPA mandates the main structure of that program and DHEC and we really don’t have a choice enforcing it.  To be honest, that program had not been implemented the way it should have been here.  So we were playing catch up to implement that program.

We hired Don (Milner) who pretty much was an expert and he wanted it done right, and that’s the way it should be. We wanted to be as flexible as we could be, but it’s always unpopular to tell someone they need to make a change. But you’ve got to work with (business owners) and got to give them time to make those changes. And sometimes you have to compromise with them ideally with what you have and what you end up with.

We had to start minimizing the grease that goes to our plant and causing problems. After all it’s an environment concern. It can cause sewer lines to stop up and overflow, causing problems at the treatment plant. It’s something everybody needs to work on. Most of the time it’s just education.  A lot of that grease in the restaurants, they can skim off and dispose of it properly. It doesn’t need to be washed down the drain with hot water so it solidifies itself somewhere else.

Q. How do you sum up your time at Greer CPW?

A. I have really enjoyed it. There really is a camaraderie in Greer. The different 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

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