Circuit court judge to decide the fate of the Page-Kincaid PSD after county takes next step toward full removal

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County Commission met in an emergency meeting on Wednesday about the water crisis in Page-Kincaid.

They unanimously voted to petition for the removal of all three members of the Page-Kincaid Public Service District: Robert Williams, John David and James Kincaid Jr.

Now it will left to the courts to decide if the three are removed. 

“There has been document after document after document from the Public Service Commission about this utility and the inability to make it solvent,” Fayette County Commission President Denise Scalph said. “There are requirements that are legal requirements about a reserve, and that’s been on the books. There is no reserve. The commission has loaned money to try to help and that’s been a year ago, and so it is frustrating. It’s very frustrating because there are no more excuses.” 

The area has been experiencing discolored and foul smelling water for years.

Members of the PSD and others joined in on the meeting via conference call and say the ongoing water issue is a result of unmonitored mining and blasting over the years along with frequent leaks and breaks.

Even though the PSD confirmed the police were not called, they say the recent boil water advisory was a result of vandalism and it has since been fixed.

PSD Board Member John David claimed in the meeting this is just a ploy to give West Virginia American Water control. 

“We think that this has all been planned for a long time, planned ahead, and it’s just part of an orchestrated campaign. And for years and years and years and years, we have won all kinds of awards nationally for the quality of good water and there’s no reason why that couldn’t continue to happen,” David said. 

However, as the county commission receives emails and complaints from residents asking for American Water to take over, Scalph says that they have given the PSD all the chances over the past few years to fix their system. 

Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mauzy says the next step from here will be creating the petitions.

“Petitions will be drafted that will be filed in circuit court and then at some point it will be set for hearing where the judge decides whether or not we meet the burden to have them removed,” Mauzy said.  

Mauzy says this will not affect the current investigation by the Public Service Commission in Charleston into the Page-Kincaid Water system. 

The PSD’s hearing in Charleston with the Public Service Commission is set for July 16 as they have been asked to come to an agreement with West Virginia American Water about a takeover.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.