There is an old adage – “You can’t fight City Hall.”
But that is not necessarily the case for a group of concerned citizens in Williamson.
Upset with a 50 percent rate hike in the city’s water and sewage rates, this group of citizens hit the sidewalks and the streets garnering signatures on a petition to present to the state’s Public Service Commission asking them to look into this increase.
Last Friday the group received a reply back from the PSC stating that there will be an “Investigation and suspension in the water rates and charges as a result of petitions filed in accordance with W.Va. Code 24-2-4b.”
This is an excellent example that if people feel passionate enough about an issue – they don’t have to take it sitting down.
This group of concerned citizens should be applauded for their efforts.
The city adopted an ordinance increasing the rates at a recent council meeting to become effective October 1, 2015.
Our city is in tough financial shape. They owe Veolia more than $1.2 million dollars and rumors are Williamson owes even more on other bills.
However this should not solely be left up to the taxpayers that pay their water, sewage and garbage bills. Apparently there are many who are delinquent with their bills. If that is the case, then those services should be cut off.
Those who pay their bills should not have to suffer or pay for those who do not.
These concerned citizens also presented a list of questions to the City’s Utility Board and many of those are very pertinent to this situation.
Some of those questions include:
Are there plans to readdress the Mountain Water District Contract?
Why are the Utility Board minutes not being forwarded to the City Council?
Is the Utility Board following the sunshine laws?
How many payments have been missed to Veolia?
Why does the city keep renewing the contract with Veolia?
Hopefully these questions and others will be answered. The citizens of Williamson have a right to know.
But one thing is for certain, if a group of citizens does have an important issue, then they don’t have to sit back and say nothing.
They have a strong voice and it should be heard.
Keep up the good work.