KEYSER - The ongoing battle between the City of Keyser and the New Creek Public Service District prompted some strong words recently from Keyser mayor Damon Tillman in regard to Mineral County Commissioner Jerry Whisner, who is also currently serving as chairman of the New Creek PSD.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The ongoing battle between the City of Keyser and the New Creek Public Service District prompted some strong words recently from Keyser mayor Damon Tillman in regard to Mineral County Commissioner Jerry Whisner, who is also currently serving as chairman of the New Creek PSD.
Keyser and the New Creek PSD had been battling it out for some time over the hefty jump in sewage charges which New Creek experienced once a flow meter was put into place to measure the actual amount of sewage being sent to Keyser for processing. Keyser had previously been estimating the cost based on the town’s water consumption.
After the cost jumped considerably,  New Creek filed a complaint with the West Virginia Public Service District, but attorneys for both entities reached a settlement literally hours before the hearing was to begin in Keyser.
Since that time, some payments have been made, but have not helped the PSD get caught up.
According to the Keyser mayor, the agreement is now null and void.
“New Creek currently owes us $269,000,” he said during the June 12 Keyser City Council meeting. “We called the board president, who is also a county commissioner who represents the citizens of Keyser … and he’s fighting the citizens of Keyser right now to not pay the money.
“He is causing the city to go bankrupt.”
According to Mike Ryan, finance commissioner for the city, Keyser has a monthly bond payment of $74,000. With that and the everyday cost of operation for the sewer department, the lack of revenue from New Creek is creating severe financial problems for Keyser.
During his financial report at this week’s city council meeting, Ryan noted that the city has had to borrow money from the general fund to keep the sewer department in operation, and, “as of June 20, the sewer fund owes the general fund $224,933.”
“You can thank the New Creek Public Service District for that,” Tillman said.
“We have bent over backwards for them,” he continued. “So now we’ve turned it back over to our attorneys.
“The citizens of Keyser need to know that their county commissioner is doing this to them,” he said.
Members of the New Creek PSD are Luke Hoover, Melissa Rotruck, and  Whisner, who was appointed to the board earlier this year when Dave Boden resigned.