MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Following a presentation from the Morgantown Utility Board, the majority of city council appears supportive of multimillion dollar improvements that will lead to customer rate hikes.
Tim Ball, MUB’s general manager, addressed council with further detail of the estimated $31 million Cobun Creek reservoir expansion. It would give MUB a back up of several hundred million gallons of water to supply customers for more than a month in the event of contamination of the main water supply.
A $90 million dollar upgrade to the Star City waste-water treatment plant, Ball said, is “urgent and important”. He advised council MUB “should proceed swiftly” to avoid penalties from the federal government for the system’s shortcomings.
Ball said fines could be as much as $35,000 a day.
In a top three list of importance, Ball told council it is first imperative to make the waste-water treatment plant improvements to reduce overflows and discharges to meet federal compliance policies.
Second, Ball said one-third of services provided to MUB customers is done so with obsolete equipment.
Finally, according to Ball, the reservoir expansion meets the population needs of a growing community and should be viable for the next 50 to 60 years.
Council voted 6 to 1 to approve the first reading of MUB’s requests. If approved on second readings, an average MUB customer could see an estimated increase of $21.42 per bill.