Charles Town City Council backs 23% water rate increase

February 06, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A proposed 23 percent water rate increase has received preliminary approval from the Charles Town City Council and a city official said a public hearing on the proposal could be held in March.

A public hearing is required for such a rate hike request, City Clerk Joe Cosentini said.

Council members unanimously approved a first reading of the water rate increase proposal during a council meeting Monday night, Cosentini said.

The proposal requires two readings, Cosentini said.

Council members have been considering the water rate hike for several reasons, including problems with leaks in city waterlines, officials said.

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


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.

Council members were considering about a 20 percent increase in water rates.

But during a work session meeting between council members and the city's utility board, there was discussion that a 20 percent increase might not raise enough money, Cosentini said.

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

Under the proposed 20 percent rate increase, customers would pay $8.05 for every 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons, Slover said.

Information was not available Tuesday on how a 23 percent increase would raise the rate for every 1,000 gallons.

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