By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
Town officials have taken the first step toward a water rate increase for residents in Monongah.
During Monday’s meeting, council members approved the first reading for the proposed water rate increase. The second and final reading will take place following a public hearing during the council meeting on Dec. 10.
If approved by council at that meeting, Mayor Don Harris said there will be three phases to the 40 percent increase, which will be spread out over a period of three years.
“The first year will be 25 percent,” he said. “The second year will be 10 percent and the third year will be 5 percent.”
The increase will take effect 45 days after the public hearing.
“It will be awhile until people start feeling the effects of it, and we have to have the increase (of rates) if we want to keep using water,” Harris said.
Harris said notice of the final increase will be published before it takes effect.
Council also approved a long-term control plan dealing with sewage and water runoff.
“They have to smoke test all the houses to see if any of the rain runoff is going down into the sewage that we pay to go to Fairmont,” Harris said. “If so, then whoever owns the houses where that’s happening, then we’re going to have to take care of the problem.”