KEYSER - Keyser mayor Damon Tillman announced Wednesday evening that the City of Keyser “has kind of reached a settlement” with the New Creek Public Service District in regard to the money New Creek owes to the city for sewage treatment.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Keyser mayor Damon Tillman announced Wednesday evening that the City of Keyser “has kind of reached a settlement” with the New Creek Public Service District in regard to the money New Creek owes to the city for sewage treatment.
Keyser and New Creek have been battling back and forth since Keyser installed a flow meter in 2017 to measure the amount of sewage being pumped into Keyser’s treatment plant by the New Creek PSD. New Creek had previously been charged for treatment using a formula based on the amount of water they consume from Keyser, and when the flow meter was placed online, New Creek’s sewage charges jumped significantly.
The City of Keyser said the increase was due to the large amount of infiltration of rainwater and runoff going into New Creek’s sewer lines, and New Creek has maintained the flowmeter was not accurate nor was it calibrated as required.
The latest proposed agreement between the two entities seems to take both sides into consideration, as it orders the money to be repaid but also directs that Keyser will flip a “net flow equalizer” switch to the on position during periods of heavy rain.
Mayor Tillman maintained Wednesday, however, that “according to the people who installed the switch, that switch has no bearing on anything they seem to think it does.”
According to the agreement, which Tillman read during Wednesday night’s Keyser City Council meeting, New Creek is to repay$242,017.17 in 28 monthly installments, which represents 11.45 percent of the revenues collected.
The payment is to be made in addition to the regular billed monthly payment to Keyser.
The agreement also acknowledges that the West Virginia Public Service Commission authorized a two-step rate increase for New Creek customers. That decision was issued in July, and included a Step 1 increase of 36.14 percent increase for both residential and commercial customers. According to Jerry Whisner, who has been chairing the New Creek PSD board, that increase would be in effect for approximately two years and would generate approximately $239,189 in additional revenue.
Step 2 would go into effect at the end of the two years, and would lower the initial increase to 11.98 percent. That raise would remain permanent.
Once Tillman read the agreement Wednesday, council member and finance commissioner Mike Ryan made a motion to accept it, and Eric Murphy seconded it.
Mayor Tillman signed the document, which now has to be signed by Whisner.