The article in the March 14 edition of the paper didn’t give a very clear picture of what is really going on with the city’s sewer rate increase and protest of the rate increase. The information below might help clarify the issue.
1. The Public Service Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction of municipal utility rates unless a customer or group of customers files a protest of the rate increase.
2. The law allows a customer to protest a rate increase under certain conditions.
3. Mayor Jack McCoy’s protest met the legal conditions prescribed in the law and the PSC asserted its jurisdiction to review the city’s sewer rate increase as required by law in order to make sure that the rate only includes costs associated with providing sanitary sewer service and did not discriminate against any class of customer.
4. The city challenged the PSC’s exercise of its jurisdiction and the PSC conducted a hearing to settle the jurisdiction issue. The PSC administrative law judge ruled that the PSC properly asserted its jurisdiction in Point Pleasant’s sewer rate case.
5. Before passing the ordinance to increase sewer rates, the city must determine the cost to provide sanitary sewer service to each class of customer.
6. The cost to provide sanitary sewer service is determined by doing what is called a “class cost of service study.”
7. The city did not do a class cost of service study and admitted it under oath in the PSC hearing. Since the city failed to do a class cost of service study, it could not prove that its sanitary sewer rate did not discriminate between classes of customers. A West Virginia Supreme Court ruling on a rate protest case involving the City of Wheeling in 1997 sets the rules for PSC jurisdiction in municipal rate cases.
8. Staff from the PSC will do a class cost of service study to determine the actual cost to provide sanitary sewer service to the different classes of sanitary sewer customers and set the sanitary sewer rate to the appropriate amount. The different classes of customers are usually residential, commercial, industrial, resale and fire. The PSC does not charge the city to do the study.
9. The sanitary sewer rate(s) the PSC sets could be lower, higher or the same as the rate set by the city in its sanitary sewer rate ordinance that was protested.
10. If the city files an exception to the PSC decision, they will just be spending money for nothing and any funds that would be generated by the sewer rate increase will be further delayed. The city would have been better served if the protest and PSC jurisdiction had not been challenged. The PSC review process could have run its course in a timely manner and the city would have saved money.
If you would like to see the documents associated with this matter, you can visit www.pointpleasantwv.us.
I am a proud member of United Steel Workers Local 5668 Ravenswood. I am disgusted with the treatment of our members that have been recently displaced due to the recent “curtailment” of the Ravenswood facility.
Readers should be outraged by such corporate greed! It is my hope that all state and federal and local politicians will do what we have elected them for and get this plant up and running again for the working men and women of West Virginia! It is time to put up or shut up!
I was pleased to read about Wahama basketball coach James Toth being inducted into his high school Hall of Fame.
I can’t say I really know him, but I did have some conversation with him at the funeral and wake of my brother, Marvin. He impressed me as a man of character. He coached my nephew, Brandon Flowers, who admires and respects him. I was pleased that he supported Brandon by attending both the wake and funeral.
It is always satisfying when good things come to good people.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
The citizens of Mason County need to see the conditions in which the animals are being cared for at the Mason County Animal Shelter. On several different occasions, I (or someone that is helping me) have been checking on these animals, and I have observed the dogs in the kennels lying on the cold concrete with nothing to get off the floor.
Having asked about that, the employees claimed that the animals use the blankets or pallets to defecate on. There are not that many dogs there. Why can’t they just wash the dirty blankets or rugs each day or every other day? I did see a washer and dryer on the premises and assume that they work or have staff to operate them instead of sitting at the computer and playing cards.
These people are on the payroll, which, by the way, is taxpayers’ money. It seems that the employees will not even give a blanket to the little ones who are observed shaking and holding a paw up because the concrete is cold. They say the heat is on, but that is not on the floor, where cold water is sprayed to clean off the feces, then the dog is put back on the now wet and cold floor to shake and shiver.
We have been able to witness this first thing in the morning when the shelter is closed for cleaning and late in the afternoon when it is open. The commissioners need to put forth some kind of rules that need to be enforced to see that these poor, cold animals will have a dry bed for at least part of the day.
Dedication pays off
I would like to take this opportunity to let the residents of Mason County know what a great group of young men we have being raised in our community.
Over the past year, I have had the privilege of working with the Point Pleasant High School boys basketball team. I started out working with these boys last April and continued with them through September until I became an athletic assistant for the team. During this time, I witnessed hard work and dedication that I have not seen from adults, let alone young teenagers.
This group of young men would show up three or four days a week for two hours to work on their strength, conditioning and basketball skills. Most of these days we would have at least 10 or more kids show up to give their all, while many of their peers were out having fun. That, my friends, is hard to do for any young adult these days.
For all this hard work and dedication, these boys were rewarded with a 14-11 season (the first winning season in five years for Point Pleasant), a second place finish in the Cardinal Conference (the highest ranked finish for a Point Pleasant team), a 10-game winning streak (tied with two other teams for a school record) and trips to the sectional and regional championships. This all was from a group of young men who had never come close to a winning record in varsity basketball from seventh grade up.
Although I am excited about what these boys accomplished, I am more excited about what great men they are going to become when they get older. I have never been around or a part of a team that was as caring, respectful and unselfish as this group of guys. Not one time during the year were there any arguments, finger-pointing or jealousy among the players. I have been a part of many teams myself and know this is not normal.
I also know it is not normal for a group of boys on a team to establish a Bible class once a week, but these kids did. Not only did they have a Bible study, but they also prayed before and after each practice and game. I can also state that each and every player was present for these Bible studies.
In closing, I would like to commend the parents for doing such a good job of raising these boys. I have two younger boys myself, and I can only hope they turn out to be like the young men on our basketball team. It has definitely been my pleasure to be a part of these boys’ lives, and I can’t wait to see what great things they do later in life.