POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission met last week where it approved water and sewer rate increases.
The Mason County Public Service District (PSD) needs the county commission to vote and approve rate increases due to a legislative change in 2015, according to the PSD’s Attorney Jim Kelsh. The PSD board must first approve the rate and then present it to the county commission. The commissioners unanimously approved the approval of the rate increases presented by Kelsh and PSD manager Brent Clark.
During the meeting, Kelsh told commissioners the rates for the sewer have not been increased since 2014. Kelsh said the current rates were not sustainable and were not meeting the renewal replacement rate. The sewer rate will increase by seven percent.
The water rate will increase by 28 percent, which Kelsh said will cost PSD customers approximately $10 per month on average. Kelsh said the new water rates will allow improvement projects and increase the service area to approximately 520 customers and will allow them to take over water customers along Route 35.
Commissioner Rick Handley, who made the motion to approve the increase of the water rates, said the PSD has “come a long way,” but they are now starting to lose money. Handley also said the increase will benefit the county.
The proposal from the PSD was a public hearing, but no residents were present at the commission meeting.
In her report to the commission, County Clerk Diana Cromley said her office received a grant to back up the voter registration information. Cromely said the registrations for the county’s near 19,000 voters were scanned and backed up electronically.
In his report to the commission, County Administrator John Gerlach said a trench and French Drain are being installed at the Letart Park. Gerlach said water keeps going back into the garage space.
Gerlach said the fuel tanks at the airport are in the process of being certified with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Gerlach said more trees need cleaned up at the 4-H camp.
The commissioners made plans to visit all of the county community buildings to make sure they are ready to be opened and don’t require repair.
Commission President Sam Nibert said the county-wide clean up day is scheduled for May 15 at the Mason County Career Center parking lot from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Details about accepted items will be released later.
The commissioners entered into an executive session during the meeting to discuss “personnel.”
All three commissioners — Nibert, Handley and Tracy Doolittle — were present at the meeting.
The next meeting of the Mason County Commissioners is scheduled for Thursday, March 25 at 4 p.m.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.