The Putnam Public Service District Board met on Thursday, January 5, to hold the first reading of a resolution to increase water and sewer rates. If the resolution is approved at a second reading scheduled for January 19, the PSD will seek approval from the West Virginia Public Service Commission to increase its sewer rates by 8.5% and its water rates by 5.96%.
The Board has determined that the increase is necessary to cover ongoing costs of operation and to meet debt service and reserve working capital requirements.
For customers using 4,000 gallons of water per month, water bills will go from $33.84 to $35.87, while sewer bills will increase from $47.52 to $51.56.
Putnam PSD water rates are significantly lower than those of the City of Hurricane or West Virginia American Water Company. The cost to Hurricane customers for 4,000 gallons is $54.20. WV American Water customers pay $76.78 for 4,000 gallons. Statewide, 69 utilities have lower water rates than Putnam PSD and 293 have higher rates.
Putnam PSD sewer rate for 4,000 gallon water usage is 157th statewide with 159 utilities charging higher rates. Putnam County’s sewer rates (4,00 gallons water usage) are as follows: Town of Eleanor – $25.18 (17th lowest in WV), Town of Buffalo – $37.40 (73rd lowest), City of Hurricane – $43.82 (123rd lowest), Town of Poca – 47.29 (155th lowest), Putnam PSD – $47.52 (157th), City of Winfield – $52.52 (197 lowest), and Culloden PSD – $71.60 (287th lowest).
The cost of 4,000 gallons water ranges from a low of $2.00 for Marianna PSD in Wyoming County to a high of $102.48 for Coolfront Mountainside Association in Morgan County. Future increases will be necessary for all utilities to meet unfunded mandates imposed by federal regulatory agencies. Projected costs are forcing the merger of utilities and in certain cases, the takeover by West Virginia American Water.