6/20/2013 1:04 AM
by Tim Studebaker
FAYETTEVILLE - Potential increases in water and sewer rates have some Fayetteville residents upset. West Virginia American Water has requested two rate increases, and as part of the process, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia set up meetings around the state to allow the public to comment. Wednesday evening's meeting was the fifth in this series. The company is requesting a rate hike of 19.7% on all its water customers within the 19 counties it serves. Customers in Fayetteville would also be facing an increase in their sewer rate of 63%.
"We committed $1.5-million to invest in the Fayetteville system on necessary upgrades and repairs based on this consent order because of all the regulatory and environmental violations that the system had. So, the main driver in the wastewater increase is the investment that we've had to make in that plant and that system," said Laura Jordan, a representative of West Virginia American Water.
"I think that the increase that West Virginia American Water is just...it's obscene the amount that they want to increase. They tell us they've moved it back from 80-something percent to 60-something percent like we should be happy, but it's a ridiculous amount of an increase," said Fayetteville City Council member Dennis Hanson.
The Public Service Commission will continue hearing public comments at more planned sessions throughout the state. They will make their final decision regarding both rate increases by October 10.