West Virginia American Water pitches Milton takeover

MILTON, W.Va. — Officials with West Virginia Amerian Water Company attended the Milton City Council meeting on Tuesday with hopes of convincing municipal leaders to allow the utility to purchase the city’s water and wastewater systems.

West Virginia American Water has actively pursued the acquisition since the 1980s. A recent offer to Milton leaders included $10 million for the systems.

“The city of Milton has been facing many water service issues over the last several years,” said Megan Hannah, West Virginia American Water’s senior manager of government and external affairs.

“We have heard from residents from all across the city of Milton who have struggled with unreliable water service, water service that does not meet water quality standards. Quite frankly, we have heard from many citizens that they would like to see West Virginia American Water become their water service provider.”

Milton and the company currently have an agreement regarding the bulk sale of water and an interconnection. According to Hannah, West Virginia American Water has provided Milton with half of its water supply since 2018.

Utility representatives have spoken to municipal leaders with no progress on reaching an agreement in regards to assuming full control. The utility officials made a presentation during Tuesday’s meeting with an emphasis on working with the city to transfer control to the company.

“We are very interested in taking over 100% of that water service and acquiring that system in order to put to bed all of the issues — particularly the infrastructure issues — that the city of Milton cannot keep up with,” Hannah said.

West Virginia American Water is willing to listen to Milton officials to reach an agreement. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia would also have to approve the acquisition, but Hannah stated she hopes the commission would expedite the process considering the state of Milton’s water system.