SHEPHERDSTOWN — About 50 people, many of them customers of the Jefferson County Public Service District, gathered Thursday evening at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University to voice their opinions regarding a proposed sewer project.
..“We have some of the highest rates in the state, and it is a $7 million project. You can’t fool us. That cost will be reflected on the 2,400 customers of the JCPSD. We’re not just going to lie down and take it,” Smith said.
..“The folks in Walnut Grove and Briar Run can’t afford those rates. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back. $7.1 million is $7.1 million in debt. Who do you think is going to have to pay that off? You and me,” Manuel said, turning to address those attending the hearing. “(The JCPSD) can’t keep heaping debt onto the ratepayers.”
..“When I moved, I loved my community that I moved into, but I got a culture shock when I saw my sewer bill. It was between $60 and $80 for three months in Maryland, depending on how many people were in the house. Here, it’s $150 for one month, and my children aren’t in the house,” she said. “If this project goes through, I really may move out of the neighborhood.”
Dan Forshee, another resident of Breckenridge, said the JCPSD “has strongarmed residents of Breckenridge” by offering them money to pay for portions of property in the proposed project right-of-way.
While 25 people addressed their comments to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, only one commenter — county commissioner Patsy Noland — spoke in favor of the proposed project.
Noland was “booed” and jeered during her comments, and several times, Williams addressed the audience, reminding them to be quiet and respectful of speakers.
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