WILLIAMSON – The Public Service Commission of West Virginia suspended the proposed water rate increase after citizens of Williamson submitted a petition concerning the rate hike.
A group of citizens obtained the signatures of nearly 1,000 Williamson residents and water customers following an ordinance adopted by the City of Williamson to increase rates in an effort to rid the city of a $1.2 million debt with Veolia.
The letter from the Public Service Commission reads, “Investigation and suspension of increase in water rates and charges as a result of petitions filed in accordance with W.Va. Code 24-2-4b.”
The document then states that, “Commission order suspending rates and referring to administrative law judge.
On or about Aug. 17, 2015, the City of Williamson adopted an ordinance increasing the rates and charges to water customers of Williamson to become effective on Oct. 1 2015.
W.Va. Code 24-2-4b removes from Commission jurisdiction primary approval of rate increases of municipally operated public utilities in this State. W.Va. Code 24-2-4b(c) provides in relevant part:
(c) the commission shall review and approve or modify the rates and charges of municipally owned water and sewer utilities that are political subdivisions of the state and having less than four thousand five hundred customers and $3 million dollars of annual combined gross revenues upon the filing of a petition within thirty days of the adoption of the ordinance or resolution changing the rates or charges by:
Any customer aggrieved by the changed rates or charges who presents to the commission a petition signed by not less than twenty- five percent of the customers served by the… municipally owned water and or sewer utility having less than four thousand five hundred customers and $3 million dollars annual combined gross revenues…”
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)