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No one shows up to comment on WV American Water’s rate hike plan

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — No one showed up to comment at a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on West Virginia American Water Company’s proposal to raise rates on its customers by 26%.

Charlotte Lane

The state Public Service Commission scheduled the hearing to take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the commission’s offices in Charleston.

PSC Chair Charlotte Lane opened the hearing and asked for public comment but no one came to the microphone.

“We will sit here and wait and see if anybody shows up,” Lane said.

The PSC waited until 5 p.m. and Lane asked once again asked if there were any speakers.

“Are there any members of the public here who wish to make a comment? If not, then we will recess until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning,” Lane said.

The PSC is scheduled to take sworn testimony as part of an evidentiary hearing that’s expected to last Wednesday-Friday.

Testimony will be given on three cases under consideration. Lane said West Virginia American has filed a depreciation case, a case to raise rates 31% on approximately 1,000 sewer customers in Fayette County and the 26% rate increase on 167,000 water customers in Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Wayne, and Webster counties.

If granted, a 26% rate increase in the water case would raise the average customer’s bill approximately $9.56 a month.

Lane said the PSC would make a final decision by Feb. 25, 2022.

Testimony in the evidentiary hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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