WILLIAMSTOWN -City council unanimously passed the second and final reading of a 15 percent sewer rate increase Tuesday.
The increase will take effect on Dec. 1, and is expected to produce approximately $73,172 annually through the 15 percent raise to all 1,435 customers on the city sewer.
The monthly sewer bill will increase by $5.13 for residential, $72.80 for commercial, $50.35 for industrial and $42.72 for government customers.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Williamstown Mayor Jean Ford discusses the need for the passage of the 15 percent sewer rate increase during Tuesday’s council meeting.
No community members attended the public hearing to oppose the rate increase.
The estimated $73,172 annually collected through the increase will go toward maintenance and an upcoming project to replace sewer lines along the west end of the city along West Virginia 14 to Poplar Avenue, including underneath CSX railroad tracks, said Councilman Ron Erb during the Sept. 4 council meeting.
Erb moved to approve the increase to get the project started.
Mayor Jean Ford said the project is expected to remove tree roots from the sewer lines near and under the tracks as well as replace the old clay pipe with modern plastic.
"The sewer line in question has been a problem for years," Ford said.
It is expected to cost the city more than $300,000, which includes fees and permits from CSX.
The city must raise sewer rates to fund the project because the Public Service Commission of West Virginia has told Williamstown officials they do not charge enough in water and sewer rates to apply for grants or bonds to fund their projects, officials said.
This is the second such increase for the city this year.
In early July, council passed a 15 percent water rate increase that became effective on Sept. 1.
The water rate increase added $1.33 on the minimum monthly bill and $2.97 on the average monthly water bill.
In other business:
* Council approved and awarded a bid from Kelly Paving for $169,999 to mill and repave streets throughout Williamstown.
Ford and City Councilwoman Barbara Lewis said the company has done the majority of the paving work in the city.
Council awarded the bid to get the work done by the end of fall.
Streets include East Fourth Street from Central Avenue to the American Legion to Pribble Lane, Morris Avenue, Ninth Street, Nash Avenue and Dodge Avenue.