MAN, W.Va. — Man Town Accountant Jeff Vallet was a few minutes late to Monday evening’s regular town council meeting. Mayor Jim Blevins was a bit perturbed until the longtime financial advisor arrived with plenty of paperwork in hand in order to get approval for a temporary rate increase on wastewater collection rates. Vallet explained that some of the paperwork had already been forwarded to officials in Charleston and that all that was needed was a second reading on the proposed ordinance and a yes-vote in order to move the plan forward.
The town of Man has been hit with fees and fines on wastewater, primarily because so much rainwater has been going into the collection lines of the Buffalo Creek PSD. There are other outstanding needed projects in Man dealing with water which has to be done as well, all of which has been leading to the proposed rate increase.
The rate increase will be minimal — $2.03 cents per one thousand gallons, until the loan needed for repairs is repaid.
In July, Vallet gave the town council the bad news — the town of Man owes the Buffalo Creek Public Service Commission $40,000 for rainwater that has gotten into the sewage treatment lines and that left the town looking into passing a temporary surcharge of $2.03 per thousand gallons of water in order to raise the needed money to pay them. Vallet said the problem was an old one and had been caused each spring when large amounts of rainwater made their way into the sewage collection lines of the Buffalo Creek PSC.
“We have to catch this bill up,” Vallet explained, noting that if the town did nothing about it, the PSC might take over the wastewater treatment service from the town.
The surcharge is based on total gallons used.
“We need to get this resolved with the PSC as soon as we can. …They charge us a 10 percent penalty each month on the amount which is not paid up and it is adding up,” Vallet explained earlier.
Also in July, Councilman John Fekete had noted that years ago the town was hurt in the grant application process because there were many residents who had higher incomes. He noted with the dramatic downturn in the coal industry and the local economy that residents of the town no longer had that kind of money.
“This also led to the emergency temporary surcharge on the town’s sewage system, as we discussed last month,” Valet said.
The surcharge was approved on its first reading.
In other Man news:
The town of Man will be celebrating Trick or Treat traditionally this year on Monday, Oct. 31, for a regular Halloween.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.