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Charles Town considers 20% increase in water rates

December 17, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. ? Charles Town City officials are considering about a 20 percent increase in water rates for city water customers.

The increase is being considered for several reasons, including problems with leaks in city water lines, officials said.

Charles Town City Council members have been told that there are problems with leaks in old galvanized lines, council member Michael Slover said.

Officials have considered shutting off service to the galvanized lines and transferring the service to newer lines, Slover said.

That work would cost about $170,000 and part of the money from the proposed rate increase would pay for that work, Slover said.

City water customers pay $6.67 for every 1,000 gallons of water up to 10,000 gallons, Slover said.

Under the proposed rate increase, customers would pay $8.05 for every 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons, Slover said.

Council members have not taken any action on the rate increase and the proposal would require two readings before the council, Slover said.

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Slover said a rate increase is a long process and he has questions about it.

"Nothing's definitely written in stone," Slover said.

Council member Geraldine Willingham said the city has not had a water rate increase since 1999.

Willingham said she does not believe the city has much choice in the matter because state officials tell city officials how much the rates have to be.

Willingham said state officials have talked to the city before about rates and the issue was delayed.

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