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MTC takes sewer rate increase another step forward

Jaynell Graham
Editor

A public hearing on the proposed sewer rate ordinance was on the agenda for Monday night’s Marlinton Town Council meeting. The hearing was advertised November 19, 2020 in The Pocahontas Times and The Inter-Mountain newspapers.

The purpose of the legal advertisement was to advise citizens that the town is considering the approval of an ordinance to raise sewer rates.

The first reading of the ordinance, by title, was at the November MTC meeting.

The ordinance calls for increased rates, charges and fees for all customers on the Town of Marlinton’s sewer system.

A public hearing is required prior to the second reading of an ordinance.

No comments were received prior to the meeting, and no citizens appeared to speak in favor of or opposition to the increase.
Recorder BJ Gudmundsson read the ordinance, by title, for the second time. 

Councilmember Scott Gibb moved to approve, seconded by Gail Hyer.

The second reading was approved by a vote of four to two, with councilmembers Chris Curry and Bill McMann voting against the motion.

The third and final reading will be at the January 4, 2021 meeting.

Mayor Sam Felton said that the increase has to do with compliance issues with the Department of Environmental Protection.

“The simple fact is that our system attracts too much groundwater,” Felton said. “It’s clean water, but wet weather and rain events cause us to exceed allowable amounts for discharge. 

“I don’t think it’s a serious problem from an environmental standpoint, but it is a problem from a compliance standpoint.”

Felton went on to say that, looking at the Sewer Fund in the town’s budget – with or without the sewer project – the town would have had to implement an increase in rates.

In other business

• Council approved a $500 donation to Allegheny Mountain Radio

• Tabled a request for a streetlight at the entrance to Campbelltown until more info is available.

• Approved payment of invoices for the Water Improvement Project in the amount of $183,658.07

Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the municipal auditorium and via Zoom during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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