Fighting Over Water

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

People in one town are boiling over at the thought of losing control of their water system.

But some county commissioners say enough is enough -- asking how many separate companies does Kanawha County need?

Right now the town of Pratt owns its own water and wastewater plants. And as far as businesses go, that's about all you'll find in town.

Jennifer Pack of Pratt says, “I think it would be really sad to lose something else. I mean we've lost our grocery store….it would be sad to lose water and sewage also.”

The water treatment plant serves homes beyond Pratt, and the city would like to keep it that way. But if Commissioner Kent Carper has his way, the exact opposite would happen.

Carper says he understands Pratt doesn't want to lose its identity. But he admits, even though it's not the popular plan, he'd like for the county's public service districts to be under one umbrella.

Others say this plan is simply a way to hand West Virginia American water a monopoly.

Bob Simile of Pratt City Council says, “The most important thing is number one, clean water for citizens and people we serve at an affordable rate. As long as we can continue to do that it's worth fighting for and I think West Virginia American water has a strong hold on this upper Kanawha Valley.”

A decision is expected by the commission in about a month. Pratt Water Works serves about 350 customers.

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