City Council votes "YES" to new sewer rate increase

RANDOLPH COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) -- The Elkins City Council unanimously voted Thursday to pass an ordinance that will increase the sewer rate for residents by 21.5% next year.

According to the Council under Ordinance 226, the additional money will go towards the Phase 2 Sewer Project to upgrade the current sewer system that they say is out-dated.

One resident voiced his concerned before the vote and said that in his opinion the increase is not fair to everyone.

"This new tariff in Midland and Leadsville public service rate increase is 9-9 1/2%. Elkins residents is 21.5% and that's why I really got involved I'm like 'Well, why are they getting it so cheap and then I checked volume percentages on the Elkins sewer treatment plant and 46.5% of the volume is Leadsville to Midland and they're getting preferential treatment compared to me, a citizen," said Michael Elzo.

Elkins mayor Van Broughton said the council does not want to implement the increase, but that they are just following the rules and regulations.

Operations Manager Bob Pingley agreed.

"We don't want to raise the rates, but ya know....this is the second of 2 projects and the first one we got by without raising the rates, so that's not too bad," said Pingley.

But according to Clark Martin, a Midland resident, the people in his area will be negatively affected by the increase, too, because some costumers get their water and sewer from Elkins and may also be seeing an increase.

"My concern was not just the City of Elkins which is gonna see this rate increase. It's also with those that live in not just the Midland District, but also the Leadsville District, and, of course, it's gonna be affecting a lot more then just the immediate residents of the City of Elkins," said Martin.

Pingley says regardless of concerns, the council is satisfied with their decision.

The increase is set to take effect 45 days from November 21st and will residents will see a $6.66 increase on their bills.