New Creek, Keyser reach deal on back sewage costs

KEYSER, W.Va. — An agreement calling for the New Creek Public Service District to make monthly payments to the city of Keyser for back sewage treatment costs has been approved by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

Keyser Mayor Damon Tillman and council member Mike Ryan, Billy Zacot and Eric Murphy voted 4-0 to approve the agreement during Wednesday’s city council meeting. Two council members were absent. 

New Creek owes Keyser $242,017, which has accumulated over a number of years for various reasons, such as equipment problems with New Creek’s system and a dispute over Keyser’s meters.

“I’m happy that we reached an agreement,” Jerry Whisner, a Mineral County commissioner who has been serving as president of the New Creek PSD, said Thursday.

“We should be able to pay off the balance in less than two years,” he said.

Whisner said the agreement coincides with a rate increase for New Creek’s sewer customers that takes effect Dec. 1. The increase is part of the agreement.

“It’s been approved by the West Virginia Public Service Commission,” he said.

A public meeting was held, with only a handful of New Creek’s 1,060 customers attending.

“Notices of the rate increase also were included in their latest bills,” Whisner said.

New Creek’s “two-step” rate increase will be set for two years at a higher rate, then will decrease and remain at a lower rate of increase.

“Most customers will see an increase of roughly $11 to $14, then after two years, it would drop back to around $4.80 per customer,” Whisner said.

“We tried to keep it low. This actually is as low as we could possibly go,” he said.

According to the agreement, New Creek’s payments to Keyser will be figured at 11.45 percent of New Creeks’s revenue each month. It will be paid in 28 monthly installments.

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