Page-Kincaid residents cautiously optimistic about water takeover announcement

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – On Wednesday,  the Public Service Commission in Charleston sent out a release that stated the Page-Kincaid Public Service District voted to allow West Virginia American Water to take over the water system. 

Residents have been fighting for this for about two years as they have experienced foul-smelling and discolored water which is why they are hoping this will be a quick and affordable process.

The PSC has ordered that construction must be expedited, so American Water can make the connections and improvements to the system, and so the PSD can stop their water services as soon as possible.

While this gave residents like Tammy Skidmore a reason to celebrate, she still has her concerns.

“You know, the people in our area have gone through so much financial burden over the past two plus years buying water along with paying pretty high water bills, so we really don’t want to see our costs go up, so we’re looking to the PSC and West Virginia American Water to seek out the funding. You know, some grants maybe that would help with the costs,” Skidmore said. 

The order was also only for water acquisition and nothing about sewer which the PSD still controls, so Kincaid resident Dana Shelton is also interested to see what will come of that as well. 

“We’re always cautious because they keep saying it’s going to get better, and the water seems like it clears up for a little while and then it gets yucky again but I think, I think we’re on the right path,” Shelton said. 

Now, it is about waiting to see what happens next and Skidmore, who has been instrumental in the roadside protests for the past month, says they’re not going to toss the signs just yet.

“We are not finished,” she said.  “We are not finished. We will be watching and waiting and hoping and if we need to get back on the side of the road, we’ll do it.”

WOAY will be speaking with PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane on Thursday to discuss the next steps.

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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.