KEYSER - The New Creek Public Service District has filed a complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission in regard to what they say are unfair charges from Keyser to process their sewage.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The New Creek Public Service District has filed a complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission in regard to what they say are unfair charges from Keyser to process their sewage.
Representatives of the City of Keyser, however, say they warned New Creek about the jump in costs they would experience once a flowmeter was installed, and have since offered to work with the PSD to get their bill paid up.
Once the complaint was filed with the PSC, however, Keyser city administrator Buck Eagle said the communications broke off between the two entities.
New Creek currently owes Keyser $162,834.44.
According to Jeremy Shingler, general manager/foreman for the New Creek PSD, New Creek’s sewage bills averaged around $18,000 prior to installation of the flowmeter, which is designed to measure the amount of sewage flowing from New Creek into Keyser’s system.
When the flow meter went into operation, however, Shingler said New Creek’s bills now “often average about $36,000.”
Previous Keyser city administrator Randy Amtower, who said at the time he had warned New Creek of the expected jump in costs, worked with the former members of the PSD to get the bill caught up, and New Creek did get it paid off in late 2017. At that time Amtower was working with then-PSD board members Henry Wood and Dennis Fleming to bring New Creek current.
New Creek is back in arrears again, however, and Keyser officials say the larger bills are because New Creek hasn’t addressed the amount of unwanted rainwater and surface water that flows into the sanitary system.
Prior to installation of the flowmeter, New Creek was charged for sewage based on their water consumption. Once the flowmeter was installed, however, it became clear New Creek was emitting much more effluent than the water it was taking in from Keyser - thus pointing the finger at rain water seeping into the system.
Shingler says the PSD is continuing to work on removing the I&I, but it has not helped.
“All the leaks we’ve fixed, and it keeps climbing,” he said.
“We’ve worked with RK&K … smoke tested and dye tested, and we’ve camera’ed lines. We’ve dug up and replaced lines. In fact, our lines are probably 40 years newer than Keyser’s system; they still have some terra cotta lines,” he said.
“It’s not our fault their system can’t hold it,” he said.
Shingler blames part of the problem on the flow meter. He claims the City of Keyser is not maintaining it correctly, and the calibration is off.
Shingler says he has asked to be present when the meter is checked, but Keyser officials say they cannot afford to take employees away from their regular duties to meet him every time he wants to check the meter.
Both sides are now awaiting a date for a Public Service Commission hearing, which they assume will be held in Keyser.