- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Customers could pay a surcharge to support $88.8 million in infrastructure spending under a plan introduced by West Virginia American Water.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/1RJywFV ), citing documents filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission, reports that the proposal is expected to fund roughly $45 million in main replacements through the company’s water system by 2020.

The proposal also includes about $20 million for a 7-mile pipeline that would connect Weston to Webster Springs, a project that would equal more than 22 percent of the money spent under the proposed surcharge.

West Virginia American Water CEO Jeff McIntyre said the surcharge would help reduce the size and frequency of the company’s rate increases. He says it would also improve the reliability of the distribution system.

McIntyre said the distribution system serves more than 169,000 customers in 19 counties across the state.

The proposal comes months after the Public Service Commission approved an $18.2 million annual rate increase for the company.

Advocates for a Safe Water System, a group that is trying to organize a public takeover of the company, said the company has failed to show that the plan is the most cost-effective way to address the needs of customers.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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