KEYSER - New Creek sewage customers will see a two-step rate increase soon if the Public Service District adopts a recommendation made by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - New Creek sewage customers will see a two-step rate increase soon if the Public Service District adopts a recommendation made by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
In an ongoing dispute with the City of Keyser, New Creek has fallen farther and farther behind in paying their sewage bill to Keyser, which treats the effluent in their wastewater treatment plant.
In addition to an infiltration problem, with water runoff inflating the amount of wastewater being sent to Keyser for treatment, a former PSD board member said past members have failed to impose any increases over the past few years.
The PSD therefore filed an application for a rate increase on Feb. 13, 2019, listing the number of customers to be affected at 1,060.
Since that time, Mineral County Commissioner Jerry Whisner was appointed to the PSD and has said that New Creek had “steps in place” to pay off the ever-increasing bill to Keyser.
After reviewing the request for a rate hike, the Public Service Commission issued a recommendation for a two-step increase over the next two years.
Step 1 would implement a $36.14 percent increase for both residential and commercial customers, and would be in effect for two years, according to PSD chairman Jerry Whisner.
The PSC estimates the increase would generate approximately $239,189 in additional revenue for each of those two years.
Whisner said the Step 1 increase will end after two years, and the lower Step 2 increase - at 11.98 percent - will go into effect and remain.
According to the PSC, Step 1 will take the average residential bill of $40.93 to $55.72, and the average commercial bill of $100.26 to $136.49.
Once Step 2 goes into effect, the $55.72 residential bill is expected to go back down to $45.83, and the $136.49 commercial bill will go back down to $112.26.
Anyone wishing to protest the rate hike may do so in writing to the Executive Secretary, Public Service Commission of West Virginia, P.O. Box 812, 201 Brooks St., Charleston, WV 25323.
If no hearings are requested, the PSC will immediately implement the new rates.