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Charleston, County Oppose Water Rate Increase

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The Kanawha County Commission and the city of Charleston have filed petitions to intervene in West Virginia American Water's rate case.

The state's largest water utility is seeking Public Service Commission approval for a 28 percent rate increase. The company attributes the proposed increase to previous system improvements and future planned projects.

County Commissioner Dave Hardy says many citizens will have a difficult time paying for the increase, especially older residents and those on fixed incomes.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the company has neglected its infrastructure, imposing a "pothole" philosophy of fixing problems only when they appear.

The PSC's Consumer Advocate Division suggests an increase of no more than $1.8 million annually.

A hearing is set for Oct. 27. If approved, average monthly bills would increase by nearly $12.

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