NEW CREEK – A member of the newly-reorganized board of the New Creek Public Service District confirmed this week that the West Virginia State Police is currently investigating what appears to money missing from the PSD budget.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
NEW CREEK – A member of the newly-reorganized board of the New Creek Public Service District confirmed this week that the West Virginia State Police is currently investigating what appears to money missing from the PSD budget.
Dave Boden, who was just appointed to serve on the three-member board last fall, told the News Tribune that an audit of the PSD’s books for 2017 and the first part of 2018 raised a lot of questions, including the whereabouts of approximately $14,000 which appears to be missing.After general manager/foreman Jeremy Shingler started at the PSD last spring, he said he pulled a receipt off and told then-board member Denny Fleming "You’re bankrupt.”
Shingler noted that the PSD was not taking in enough money to cover its bills to the City of Keyser, which processes New Creek’s sewage.
Boden added part of the problem is that the former PSD board would not approve a rate increase. “Keyser had had three rate increases and we didn’t have any,” he said.

The New Creek PSD has had some difficulty paying its bills to Keyser since a flow meter was installed to measure the actual amount of sewage being sent into Keyser’s system, causing New Creek’s bill to jump from approximately $15,000-$20,000 to as high as $80,000+.The previous board members had been working with the City of Keyser to try to get those bills caught up.Admitting that the board “was unable to do anything for a couple months because we didn’t have a quorem,” however, Boden said once the commission approved the other two current members after another two were approved but then resigned, they were able to take action on some important issues.

Two decisions were made to help ease the strain on the NCPSD budget – trade a large snow plow for a smaller pickup truck, and pursue an official investigation into the alleged missing money.
According to Shingler, the snow plow which the previous board had purchased was too large for the small lot it was to be used for. It was also a gas hog.
“They couldn’t afford to drive it anywhere,” Boden said. “It got about eight miles to the gallon. It was a terrible purchase.”
Shingler said he began looking around and found a local dealer who was willing to offer the PSD an even trade – the large snow plow for a smaller, more useful pickup.
“It didn’t cost us a thing,” he said.
“We got a lot accomplished at that first meeting,” Boden said, adding that one other main decision faced them that evening.
“Because of the state of the financials, I knew we had to make a decision; we were overstaffed,” he said, explaining that an employee was laid off due to the budget constraints.
By unanimous decision, the motion was to call the State Police to investigate (the missing money), and it was also unanimous to lay somebody off,” he said.
As for the timing of the investigation into the alleged missing money, Boden said the audit of the remainder of 2018 “should be done by the end of February.”
He expects charges will be filed.

NOTE: This story was revised to correct the fact that it was Shingler who stated the PSD was bankrupt, and not Boden.