WASHINGTON, WV (WTAP) - Updated: 11/9/2017 6:30 P.M.
Lubeck Public Service District residents packed a small meeting room Thursday to comment on a proposed sewer rate increase.
PSD administrators have said most of the nearly 15% increase would go to a state-required contingency fund, but a small portion would also help in the purchase of much-needed replacement equipment.
"2 1/2% is to be put away in case they would have any emergencies such as lift stations and grinder pumps," said Accountant Zach Dobbins. "Those are all very expensive to try to fix."
A water rate increase also went into effect in the past year.
Residents, many of whom are retired, said the sewer increase, on top of that, is too much for them to handle.
"It's (supposed to be) government of the people, by the people and for the people," said Dave Wills. "We just wonder where we fit into the equation."
But financial advisors say it's a matter of paying now, so they won't be asked to pay later.
"Once we get so far into this, that we have this amount funded," Dobbins said, "when we do other rate increases, we won't have to build in as large an amount."
The latest proposal is not related to the ongoing Belleville water line extension, but there was news about that as well.
The Public Service District has decided not to appeal to the state supreme court a ruling in favor of a resident who was denied water service because of the location of his home.
PSD Commissioner Jerry Martin says that extension will begin once it's determined where the money will come from to pay for that work.
The Lubeck Public Service District will hold two public meetings this month before voting on a proposed sewage-rate increase.
The meetings are planned for 1 p.m. on Nov. 9 and Nov. 30 at the district's office at 301 Ox Johnson Lane, Washington.
The district is proposing a 14.8 percent increase, but General Manager Rocky McConnell says about 11 percent of that increase is needed to comply with a 2015 state law that requires public-service districts to keep an amount equal to one-eighth of annual operating expenses in reserve for equipment purchases and emergencies.
McConnell says the PSD board will vote on the increase on Nov. 30.
If it's approved, it would still require the approval of the Wood County Commission before it could go into effect.
See more information at the "Lubeck Public Service District - Official Website" link under the "Related Links" section of this story.