KEYSER - The Keyser City Council are not currently considering a sewage rate hike, but they are not ruling it out for the future, either.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser City Council are not currently considering a sewage rate hike, but they are not ruling it out for the future, either.
When pressed during the last council meeting by Keyser resident Ralph Broadwater about rumors that they were going to increase sewage rates, city administrator Buck Eagle confirmed that  “nothing has been voted on to increase sewer rates.”
Eagle confirmed, however, that future consideration is not out of the question because “it seems there’s still going to be a shortage” in projected sewer revenue.
“Right now it’s still bare bones,” he said.
Eagle added that the city’s current sewage revenue “would have been a lot better if past administrations had not been such good people.”
Eagle said the past officials didn’t want to raise rates - even in small increments - and now if the council feels there is a need for an increase, it by necessity will be a larger one.
“If they would have just increased it one percent a year … the people would be in a much better position to budget for an increase,” he said.
Council member Terry Liller also noted that any increase they consider would have to come with a series of discussions and public hearings.
“We can’t just raise the rates; we have to have a rate hearing,” he said.
Then the proposed increase must be submitted to the West Virginia Public Service Commission for approval.
The City of Keyser did impose the last of a two-step sewer rate increase tied in with the $30 million upgrade to the sewage system in March 2017.
Before leaving his post as city administrator this past June, however, Randy Amtower warned the incoming mayor and council that they would be faced with considering another increase in order to keep the city’s sanitary system solvent.