About Our Utilities: Providing public services responsibly, transparently, and affordably
WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION & CITY OF BUCKHANNON, WV
December 20, 2018
1) For full access to all statistical data compiled by the State of West Virginia, please consult http://www.psc.state.wv.us/
2) According to the State PSC, there are 369 regulated water utility entities in West Virginia. Of those 369, the City of Buckhannon ranks #39 in most affordable water services. This means that 330 of the 369 water utilities charge more for their water than does Buckhannon. Buckhannon ranks at the 10.5% level in most affordable water services.
3) Further according to the State PSC, there are 321 regulated sanitary sewer entities in West Virginia. Of those 321, the City of Buckhannon ranks #173 in most affordable sewage services. This means that 172 sewage providers charge less than Buckhannon, & 148 charge more for their sewer services than does Buckhannon. Buckhannon ranks at the 53.9% level in most affordable sewer services.
4) The last water utility increase in Buckhannon was effected by Ordinance No. 392 that was enacted on July 16, 2015, i.e. three & a half years ago.
5) The last sewer utility increase in Buckhannon was effected by Ordinance No. 419 that was enacted on June 1, 2017.
6) The last waste collection (garbage) increase in Buckhannon was effected by ordinance enacted in 2011, more than seven years ago.
7) Our four Utility Boards are all separate & distinct statutory corporations that are prohibited from comingling of finances with General Fund or other Utility Board accounts. Our City is prohibited by state statute from using water, sewer, or waste collection funds to pave streets, operate the public safety complex, build sidewalks, operate the Stockert Youth & Community Center or the Colonial Theatre or the City Dog Park or City library. Only operations related to the Board functions may be sustained by the revenues generated by State approved tariffs.
8) All accounts of the City of Buckhannon are subject to both annual internal & external audits. Our City has never been subject to any cited failure by any auditor for misuse or misappropriation of any utility or general funds, not once, not ever.
9) The mayor of Buckhannon cannot unilaterally establish funding priorities for the General Fund or any Utility Board, as there must be majority support for all expenditures by either the City Council or the appropriate Utility Board considering the matter.
10) Our current Director of Finance & Administration, Amby Jenkins, has been in our City’s employ for going on 43 years.
11) The State of West Virginia requires all regulated utilities to maintain a 1/8 reserve, i.e., 12.5% of each utility’s operational budget must be held for utility emergencies, etc. In December of 2018, Buckhannon for the first time ever has achieved those reserve requirements.
12) The WV Public Service Commission recommends rate increases every three years for utility operations to remain viable accounting for consistent increased labor & material costs, etc.