Morgantown City Manager expresses confidence in trash billing changes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When Morgantown’s trash billing officially falls under the purview of the Morgantown Utility Board later this Spring, City Manager Paul Brake is confident the transition will be smooth.

“In essence, it’s no difference in the administrative charge in handling that, but it solves a much bigger problem for us,” Brake said during an hour-long interview Tuesday morning on WAJR’s Morgantown AM. “That’s why we’re switching over to MUB in that regard.”

Morgantown residential customers will receive their trash bills through MUB, part of a change that simplifies how trash is picked up in the city limits. That change, Brake said, should simplify the process and result in a more efficient and cleaner city.

“From my perspective as the administrator of the contract, I simply want compliance,” Brake said. “Which means, pick up the trash — it’s real simple. It’s not that difficult. And if you miss a trash, go back and pick it up.”

In the past, accounts that Republic wouldn’t take trash from delinquent customers led to complaints over dirty neighborhoods. Brake said the amended memorandum of agreement between Morgantown, MUB, and Republic allows the company to focus on one thing: picking up the trash.

“I think there will be that commitment to excellence,” Brake said. “There will be some instances where, let’s face it, with the weather that we have here and the difficult terrain, it is difficult no matter who is providing the trash pick-up service.”

Brake also praised Republic as a company that’s far more responsive to customer service requests than some of its cohorts.

“Republic is by far much more accessible than some of the others,” he said. “And I don’t mean this as a criticism, but when you compare them to places like Mon Power, Dominion Gas, Frontier, Comcast, I can get a hold of Republic and get a response a whole lot quicker than I can any of these other utilities.”

MUB has the ability, through a customer’s social security number, to report non-payment through collections to go onto an individual’s credit report. This replaces Republic having to go through the painstaking process of taking someone to court over unpaid bills, or city police being required to chase down delinquent customers.

The change, beginning May 1, only impacts residential customers inside the Morgantown city limits.

Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake joined Dave Wilson and Sarah Giosi for the entirety of their March 27, 2018 episode of Morgantown AM. This is the first in a series of pieces detailing what Brake discussed on the program.