NEW HAVEN — Sewer customers in the Town of New Haven will likely see a 19 percent increase on their bills this summer, after the town council members adopted an ordinance this week to raise the rates.
The proposed increase rates will become effective June 1, unless otherwise ordered by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC). The increase will result in an additional $70,693 in revenue yearly for the sewer department.
Recorder Roberta Hysell said this will be the first increase New Haven’s 675 sewer customers have seen in nearly three years. The last hike took effect May 1, 2014.
Hysell said the increase is necessary because of outstanding debt and higher operating expenses. And while the increase percentage might sound high, Hysell said the dollar amount for a minimum usage customer of 2,000 gallons will go up $4.10.
Presently, customers using the minimum amount pay a monthly bill of $65.52. This includes water, sewer and trash pick-up, along with police, recreation, and street paving fees. Once the increase goes into effect, the new total bill will be $69.62.
Customers in nearby towns pay similar bills. The minimum bill in Mason is $58.31, but does not include trash pick-up, which is paid separately to other companies. Point Pleasant’s minimum bill does include garbage service, and is $77.06.
New Haven customers can protest the increase by presenting the PSC with a petition, signed by at least 25 percent of the customers. The petition must be filed within 30 days of the March 20 ordinance adoption date.
Petitions must be addressed to the Executive Secretary, Public Service Commission of West Virginia, 201 Brooks Street, P.O. Box 812, Charleston, WV 25323. Complete copies of the rates are available for viewing at the New Haven Town Hall, 218 Fifth Street, New Haven, and at the PSC office in Charleston.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.