CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia American Water Company is willing to compromise on raising its rates.

The company announced Monday, during an evidentiary hearing in front of the state Public Service Commission, it has been in talks with the PSC staff and the state consumer advocate division on a plan that reduces the 19.7-percent increase WVAWC originally requested.

WVAW was seeking a rate hike totaling $24 million a year, a move that would increase the average water bill to $47 a month. Company officials said they need to pay off $85 million worth of system improvements the made since 2009.

The PSC staff, consumer advocates, Utility Workers of America and Steel of West Virginia challenged the request.

On Monday, WVAWC attorney Phil Melick said the company is close to a deal with some of the challengers.

“The parties agree and recommend to the commission that the company will see increased water revenues on an annual basis of $8.1 million,” Melick said.

The company has also agreed to lower, by nearly half, the amount it was seeking for an increase in sewer revenue rates.

The last major concession is one that would last at least 18 months.

“The company has agreed, for purposes of this stipulation, not to file another general water or waste water rate increase before the first of January 2015,” explained Melick to the PSC.

That appeared to be enough to satisfy the PSC staff and consumer advocate division, but not the unions.

Kim Bonnette, a WVAWC employee in the Huntington district, testified in front of the PSC that the company is not living up to its previous promises to improve the system and shouldn’t be asking for more money.

“Customers aren’t being served. (The company) is not efficient, not productive,” Bonnette said.

WVAWC, the PSC staff and consumer advocate could sign off on the agreement by Tuesday morning. However, the commissioners have the ability to reject the proposal. The PSC has until Oct. 11 to rule on the request.

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  • BigDave

    Just as I predicted. The utilities ask for a lot more, then negotiate a lower rate. The PSC praises itsefl for watching out for the consumer, and the utility walks away laughing.

  • packman

    Sounds like meeps works for water company

  • Joe

    Quick, someone call Meep a waaaaaaambulance!

  • Randy

    Meep, I've lived in 8 different states and of all of them this state has by far the highest water and sewer rates. One state, California, as much as I hated living there, water averaged 15 bucks a month. Sewer was 6 bucks and that included garbage pickup and that is a place where water is a bit scarce unlike here. Further, we shouldn't have to be paying for upgrades, repairs and new systems. In every business but theirs that's considered the cost of doing business. Their raking in millions in profits and millions and want more and more.

    Lastly, get off your high horse. Your most likely not a whole lot different than those you condem.

  • richard

    someone on this post is an idiot. i won't say who! let's see who answers the call.

  • Harpers Ferry

    Water, the most plentiful resource on Earth. Enough said.

    • Matt

      Actually it's not....clean water is starting to run out. That's whay T Boone Pickens invested about 1 billion in a water supply that will service Vegas and California. Other things running low are Helieum (the US is the largest supplier intelligent congress made laws to use it all up on purpose), tequila, and coca (chocolate).

  • RHytonen

    *Raised hand* -
    Fixed income
    - NO cable or satellite. Or landline phone.

    Third world countries are suffering because their water access was stolen by private interests FOR PROFIT and they're gouging - as they will, if you don't nationalize such essentials to life as energy, water, basic food, and health care.

    And WHO's "wasting water?"
    Last year Ellenboro ran out of water for their customers.
    (And the frackers' "waste" is orders of magnitude greater than the ENTIRE population's, including legitimate use-
    - and? It's IRREVERSIBLY FOULED. Cumulative carcinogens )

    • Meep

      The gas drillers are but another in a long line of extractors enabled by filthy, greedy, corrupt politicians courtesy of an apathetic populace.

      It's certainly nothing new in West Virginia and they won't leave until they've had their fill. Then they will take their money and go back to Virginia and all the other States where people are too smart to let them get away with it where they live.

  • Meep

    I wonder how many of those idiots on "fixed incomes" have cable. Spoiled, stupid people in this country raise holy heck about paying pennies on the gallon for all the fresh clean water they can use yet they would never consider going without cable and pay through the nose to get it, despite their financial "hardships."

    Obese, over indulged slobs spend $20 on a pizza but complain about a $60 water bill?????? I wish these slobs would have to haul their water up from the river for a month. Then see how much they'd pay.

    And I'm not affiliated with the water company by the way. I've just seen the suffering from lack of access to clean water in third world countries first hand. And I was raised to be grateful instead of demanding more and more and more.

    I despise these awful, complaining, spoiled people who think they are constitutionally entitled to be able to waste water for next to nothing yet turn around and spend more on Chuck E. Cheese than on their water bill.

    • Matt

      That was awesome.

    • leroy jethro gibbs

      little ceasars has pizza for 5 dollars

      • Meep

        But most people eat four of them.

    • AX MAN

      You might have been raised to be grateful, but you turned out to be a nut.

      • Meep

        Wow. You really have a way with words.

        Now go to that all-you-can-eat place up on Southridge. Then enjoy some cable, while you are complaining about the amount of your check you get every month and how much you think water is worth.

        How much is YOUR cable bill by the way?