Keyser puts water resale increase on hold for now

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER — The second reading of an ordinance which would raise water resale rates to the New Creek Water Association has been placed on hold.

Keyser city administrator told the city council Jan. 13 that it would be his recommendation to “table it temporarily” until “we can sit down and go over the rates.”

The Keyser City Council had approved the first reading of the ordinance which would increase the resale rate by 94 cents per thousand gallons in November.

Mayor Damon Tillman and members of council had previously spoken out several times about what they said was the unfairly small amount charged for the potable water which the city sells to the New Creek Water Association and the association, in turn, sells  to its customers.

Since those discussions, however, the council hired Broadwater as the part-time city administrator, and he has been going over various issues between Keyser and the New Creek Water Association and Public Service District.

In regard to the New Creek PSD, Broadwater said the system has a lot of infiltration issues which cause severe fluctuations in their payments to Keyser.

“If it doesn’t rain, they hardly pay us anything, but if it does rain, they sometimes have to pay us a bunch,” he said.

With that in mind, Broadwater said they worked out a deal with New Creek where the PSD will pay Keyser an average bill for the next 18 months.

“That will enable us to stabilize our budget,” he said.

Tillman agreed that the up-and-down nature of the usage created “an unfair situation for both entities.”