KEYSER - Less than a week after the West Virginia Public Service District recommended dismissing New Creek Public Service District’s complaint against the City of Keyser, the Keyser Sanitary Board has filed a complaint with the same agency, asking that New Creek be ordered to pay the overdue amount owed Keyser for sewage treatment.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Less than a week after the West Virginia Public Service District recommended dismissing New Creek Public Service District’s complaint against the City of Keyser, the Keyser Sanitary Board has filed a complaint with the same agency, asking that New Creek be ordered to pay the overdue amount owed Keyser for sewage treatment.
New Creek had filed a complaint against Keyser in November, alleging that the steep hike in sewage costs was created by an improperly calibrated and inaccurate flow meter which measures the amount of effluent coming from New Creek into Keyser’s sewage system.
On Friday, Feb. 15, however, the Public Service District recommended that the case be dismissed.
According to PSC documents, the technical analyst who investigated the case for the state agency “sees no indication that the district’s flows were over-measured.
“He therefore recommends no adjustment to the district’s bill … and also recommends continued billing based upon measured sewage flow.”
Tuesday, attorneys with the McClure Goad law firm of Huntington and the Redman & Payne firm of Charleston, acting on behalf of the Keyser Sanitary Board, filed a complaint with the PSC asking that New Creek pay the full amount owed to Keyser for sewage treatment.
In the complaint, the Sanitary Board, which is chaired by mayor Damon Tillman, alleges that New Creek “continues to refuse to remit proper payment, refuses to address its inflow and infiltration issue, and refuses to seek a rate increase to cover its annual costs.”
According to the complaint, New Creek is in arrearage in the amount of approximately $149,000. According to the Feb. 1 bill attached to the paperwork, New Creek currently owes a total of $162,270.44.
The complaint claims that the unpaid bills are causing Keyser to “continue to suffer significant financial loss,” and the customers of the Keyser Sanitary Board are therefore “in effect subsidizing the wastewater treatment costs for the customers of New Creek.”
Keyser is therefore asking the PSC to not only order New Creek to pay the overdue $149,000, but also to order the PSD to “implement reasonable rates upon its customers in order to meet its financial obligations.”
They also ask that New Creek be ordered to address its inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues, that the PSC conduct an investigation into the PSD’s finances, and that New Creek be assessed a 5 percent per month late fee for nonpayment.
New Creek’s finances are currently under investigation by the West Virginia State Police due to some $14,000 which appears to be missing, according to board chairman Dave Boden, who was appointed to the board after New Creek filed the complaint with the PSC.
Boden has also said part of the PSD’s financial difficulties stem from the fact that previous board members refused to implement a rate increase.
“Keyser has had three rate increases and we didn’t have any,” he told the News Tribune.