Kanawha County Commission files brief in opposition of water rate hikes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission filed a brief in opposition to West Virginia American Water Company’s pending water rate increase request, the commission announced Tuesday.

The brief follows an evidentiary hearing held by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4. Kanawha County Commission President W. Kent Carper testified at the evidentiary hearing in opposition to the proposed rate hike.

“West Virginia American Water’s rates have nearly doubled since 2006. As a result, monthly water bills have become unaffordable for many residents and businesses. We have asked the Public Service Commission to reject the Water Company’s increase. We have also called for a moratorium on future rate increases,” stated Carper, Ben Salango, and Lance Wheeler in a joint statement.

On Apr. 30, West Virginia-American Water Company filed for increased water rates and charges of approximately $40,486,124 annually (a 26.1 percent increase) for furnishing potable water to approximately 167,000 customers in Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Wayne, and Webster Counties, to become effective on Feb. 25, 2022.

If the rate increase is approved, a residential customer could see their monthly bills increase $9 to $15, or more, depending on water usage, the county commission stated.