In May 2008 the mayor of Point Pleasant was approached by the Mason County Public Service District (PSD), via a letter dated May 27, 2008, to share the cost of conducting a study to investigate the viability of a joint sewage project between Point Pleasant, Camp Conley and Lakin.
From the very beginning, there have been many complicated issues surrounding this project. On Nov. 10, 2008, the city council, concerned about properly understanding all of the implications involved, hired an attorney from Charleston at a rate of $200 per hour. Unfortunately, rather than receiving guidance from the attorney, the council received more of an expensive “sell job.” In February 2009, the attorney attended a meeting with members of council with the following information: the Public Service Commission (PSC) will not allow any more sewage plants to be built; the PSD has its funding approved; and the income will help defray costs to the Point Pleasant plant.
Some of the things the attorney offered simply were not true, and I can prove it. For instance, the funding has not been approved for the PSD. He also alleged that the Point Pleasant comprehensive plan was not law. That, too, is erroneous. Finally, the attorney asserted that Chapter 5G of the Code of West Virginia did not exist and then changed to that the law did not apply to what I was talking about. I would also point out here that the council members were informed (not that they approved) that the city was going to be represented by this attorney in this matter.
There are a great many issues of concern for me involving this project. My primary concern is that if the city agrees to the joint project, your elected officials will no longer control any of the issues for the sewage because the PSC will be in complete control.
Is the city going to make money here? If so, no one has showed me how. Citizens must take action! Right now, the city is planning to charge the PSD $2.29 per 1,000 gallons of sewage. City residents should look at their bills — they pay $4.35 per 1,000 gallons, with a minimum billing of 3,000 gallons. If the increase is approved, residents will be paying a minimum of $14.55 for sewage costs, while the PSD will only pay $6.87 for the same amount of sewage to be pumped to Point Pleasant. How is that beneficial to the citizens of Point Pleasant, especially considering that the mayor, in April 2008, cast the tie-breaking vote to raise the city’s municipal fees by $3 per month as a way to raise revenue?
Although I am a member of the city council, I’m making these statements as a concerned citizen and not on the city council’s behalf. City residents need to make their voices heard.