MUB puts off rate increase, seeks bond refinance

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – MUB General Manager, Tim Ball is asking Morgantown city council to endorse a bond refinance due to COVID-19-related costs, lost revenue, secure a lower interest rate and loss of a government rebate on interest paid due a change in the law passed in 2011.

Ball told council members a inflation-based rate increase planned for July of 2020 will be tabled until late this year. The increase will not be an attempt to recover COVID-19-related losses.

“We’re experiencing significant cost and lost revenues as a result of COVID-19,” Ball said,”Our total monthly loss is somewhere in the range of $350,000 per month.”

“We are losing $210,000 of it is lost revenues that results from lower water demand, lower water sales,” Ball said,”You’ve got 30,000 students gone and that’s reduced our water demand by 10 percent.”

Ball reported an additional $140,000 per month due to the purchase of PPE, disinfection services and sick leave for employees.

Ball said because of market factors and economic difficulty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak they will table the proposed rate increase.

“My best guess at this point at this is it would be pursued no earlier than the late part of this year, perhaps the fall of 2020,” Ball said,”There’s a very good likelihood it could rollover and not be pursued until early 2021.”