Public Service Meeting Is Held
The West Virginia Public Service Commission met on Wednesday, June 22 at New Martinsville’s municipal building to address the issue of the current raise of the rate of solid waste removal. Solid Waste Services filed a rate increase on November 2015. They had originally wanted to raise the rate to $21.75 (an increase of $5.74), but then after a Rule 42 investigation, there was an agreement to change the rate to $17.45. The original rate of $16.01 will be increased $1.44 (8.99 percent) and Solid Waste will be running at 95.08 percent efficiency. There is a 30 E surcharge for landfill dumping, which is included in the $17.45 rate; however, there is a separate charge for fuel costs that will fluctuate according to standard increase or decrease of gas prices. The fuel cost charge is mandated by the state.
The public was given a chance to ask questions or raise concerns about the rate increase. Resident Bill Hughes stated, “It appears to be a reasonable rate of increase,” yet he went on to address the confusion of a publicly released PDF document regarding the rate increase. There had been a hearing earlier in the day that had previously corrected a few of the concerns of Hughes, such as different cover pages and inaccurate figures.
Hughes’s wife, Marianne stated, “Our bills have no itemization, so we have no way to know if there’s any change in fuel pricing or what other charges may include.” She went on to discuss how the main office is located in Eastern Pennsylvania. She showed concern that West Virginia could be losing money to another state. Marianne proposed that the hard working garbage collectors receive a pay increase, instead of giving the rate increase directly to an out of state office.
Wetzel County resident Mark Cochran spoke in support of the increase.
” I have seen the workers’ equipment and have found it to be in good condition,” he said.
“We are never short handed, and they take mattresses and large items with no additional charge. I think this increase is a bargain.”