6:00: Morning News

West Virginia American Water moving into Eastern Panhandle with Jefferson Utilities purchase

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. — West Virginia’s largest water utility is moving into the Eastern Panhandle.

West Virginia American Water announced Wednesday it has agreed to purchase the water and sewer system assets of Jefferson Utilities which serve nearly 4,000 customers in Jefferson, Morgan and Berkeley counties.

The purchase price is $30 million.

Jefferson Utilities assets include Valley Water and Sewer Services, Shenandoah Junction Public Sewer and East Jefferson Sewer Services. Most of its customers are in Jefferson County.

“West Virginia American Water looks forward to becoming the water and wastewater service provider for such a vibrant and growing part of the Eastern Panhandle,” WVAW President Robert Burton said in a statement. “We are committed to continuing the high level of service provided by these water and wastewater utilities while being an excellent community partner and delivering on our infrastructure investment, technical expertise and decades of water and wastewater experience. Additionally, we look forward to taking an active role in the growth of the Eastern Panhandle and helping the communities we’ll serve as they continue to thrive.”

The move is West Virginia American Water’s first acquisition in the Eastern Panhandle.

The agreement next goes before the state Public Service Commission for consideration. West Virginia American Water said it hopes for approval by the end of the year or early next year. Once approved, the current approved water and sewer rates for the company in other parts of the state will be applied to Jefferson Utilities customers.

Jefferson Utilities owner Lee Snyder said as he approached retirement he wanted to see the work of the last 25 years by himself and his employees continued.

“This sale presents an incredible opportunity for our area and our customers. I look forward to all that West Virginia American Water will do for and within our communities,” Snyder said.

West Virginia American Water is promising a seamless transition.

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