Wednesday, May 27, 2020 11 p.m. UPDATE: KINCAID, WV (WVNS) — On Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Fayette County Commissioners voted to file a petition to remove each Page-Kincaid Public Service District board member.
John David is a board member for the Page-Kincaid public service district. He helped start the public utility more than 40 years ago.
“It is low-income and rural and unincorporated and nobody wanted to provide water and waste water services to the people of this area,” said David.
Wednesday morning, David learned Fayette County Commissioners are moving forward with the removal of each Page-Kincaid Public Service District board member. This comes after the state Public Service Commission opened an investigation. The commission claimed the PSD refused to cooperate with West Virginia American Water Company, blocking a deal that would allow the company to take over. The Commission asserted the PSD failed to provide information to the water company about the sewer system.
“I don’t know what documents they want to look at,” said David. “They certainly weren’t denied the opportunity to come up here because they spent days up here looking at the water.”
David said they gave the water company a deadline to respond, but they were weeks late.
The investigation also cited multiple complaints about the water quality and a petition with 400 signatures against Page-Kincaid. 59News asked him to explain their history of water issues, which generated so many complaints and so much attention from state and county governments. David said problems in the past were caused by mine blasting and an aging infrastructure, which they were in the process of gradually updating when the water company intervened.
He said the system would still need to be updated, even if the water company takes over. David said he believes if the water company never intervened last summer, and they were granted the $3.35 million to update the system, it would be complete by now.
“I think there’s a problem working with West Virginia American Water because we’re not happy about river water, we’re not happy about what they did with the Elk River, we’re not happy about what’s in the ingredients of the New River, so there are concerns about that,” said David. “The other thing is that we went and busted our butt to get these programs together and grants to fix our system.”
Page-Kincaid’s water comes out of an aquifer. Ultimately, David said he feels like Page-Kincaid was cornered into a deal with the water company; a deal he thinks would serve the company rather than the people.
“I know that West Virginia American needs more capacity, needs more business,” David said.
David said he thinks removing board members is a business decision that will not solve the problem.
59News asked if he planned to fight the petition in circuit court.
“I have no clue what we’re going to do. That is not something that one of us could comment on. I think it could go from that to the fact that the three commissioners could just quit,” said David.
The boil water advisory in Page-Kincaid was lifted as of Wednesday, May 27, 2020. A status conference will be held at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 16, 2020, at the Public Service Commission Main Hearing Room in Charleston.
FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — 11:45 a.m. Wednesday May, 27, 2020 UPDATE: Fayette County commission voted to seek removal of each Page-Kincaid PSD board member.
During their emergency commission meeting Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Fayette County commissioners voted to file a petition against each board member, seeking their removal from the board.
The petitions will have to go through circuit court. Board members will have the opportunity to fight the petitions in circuit court.
FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — 7:00 p.m. Friday May, 22, 2020 UPDATE: Fayette County Commissioners are considering action to resolve the issue with the Page-Kincaid Public Service District. They discussed a plan of action at the regular commission meeting Friday, May 22, 2020.
After years of discolored, dirty water, Fayette County Commissioners had enough of the problems at Page-Kincaid Public Service District. Fayette County commission President, Denise Scalph, said these issues have gone on for too long.
“This has a lot of effects on the folks. Not just drinking water, but we’re in a pandemic. They can’t bathe and wash their clothes properly, it affects everything in their lives. It’s gone on too long and its just too serious to just let it go,” Scalph explained.
Now, PSD board members could be in hot water. Scalph said county commissioners and prosecuting attorney, Jeffrey Mauzy, are considering the removal of one or all board members.
“Fayette County Commission needs to do what we need to do within our legal realm to make this right,” said Scalph.
This comes after the area was placed under a boil water advisory for an unknown amount of time, and the state Public Service Commission opened an investigation into Page-Kincaid. On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 the PSC announced it is looking into the quality of water service provided by Paige-Kincaid.
The commission received multiple formal complaints, as well as a petition signed by around 400 residents, complaining about poor water service and high rates. They also required Page-Kincaid to hand over certain information.
“The PSC ordered them to cooperate with West Virginia American Water to try to see if a deal could be made in the past, and it appears that they did not fully cooperate with that, so there’s several grounds that may exist for removal of board members,” said Mauzy.
Mauzy said those grounds for removal could include malfeasance, failure to preform official duties, and failure to comply with PSC orders.
59News made a second attempt to contact members of the board, but no one could be reached for comment.
An emergency commission meeting to discuss removal and replacement of the board is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9 a.m. Over Zoom.
KINCAID, WV (WVNS) — 10:30 a.m. Friday May, 22, 2020 UPDATE: The Fayette County Commission and Prosecuting Attorey Jeffery Mauzy are considering action to resolve the issue with the Page-Kincaid Public Service District (PSD). They discussed a plan of action at the regular commission meeting on Friday morning.
During the meeting, Commission President Denise Scalph confirmed the commission is considering the removal and replacement of all member of the Page-Kincaid PSD board. This could be done on the grounds of malfeasance, failure to comply with public service commission orders, and failure to perform duties.
Scalph scheduled an emergency meeting for nine Wednesday morning to determine how to move forward. The meeting is open to the public and will be held over Zoom. A link will be posted to the Fayette County commission website Tuesday evening.
West Virginia American Water is bringing in a water tank to temporarily help residents in the area who are without drinkable water.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 7 p.m. UPDATE: On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 the West Virginia Public Service Commission opened an investigation into the quality of water service provided by the Page-Kincaid Public Service District.
Charlotte Lane is Chairman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
“The people of Page-Kincaid deserve potable water,” said Lane. “I thought we were on a path to achieve that when we had the public hearing in October in Fayetteville, and the hearing here in Charleston in December.”
She said the commission also required Page-Kincaid PSD to hand over information about the sewer system to West Virginia American Water Company. According to documents from the commission’s session in Charleston on Wednesday, in June of 2019, Page-Kincaid applied for a certificate to rehabilitate the water treatment plant. It was estimated to cost $3.3 million. This would cause current rates to increase 10 percent.
In July, the commission received multiple formal complaints and petition signed by around 400 residents, complaining about poor water service and high rates. Lane said West Virginia American Water Company intervened to possibly take over the PSD. She said the PSD was only interested if the water company would take over the water system and the sewer system.
“Page-Kincaid did not give the water company enough information about the sewer system for the water company to make a proposal and that’s where the talks broke down,” said Lane.
Currently, the entire Paige-Kincaid PSD is under a boil water advisory for an unknown amount of time. The commission ordered the PSD to turn over the information to the water company by June 10, 2020.
“I thought that the parties were going to sit down and work out a game plan and that we would have been well on our way to solving this problem and I’m very disappointed that it fell apart,” said Lane.
59News reached out the Paige-Kincaid PSD, but no one was available for comment. As of 7 p.m. Thursday May 21, 2020, none of the board members or the general manager returned our calls.
CHARLESTON , WV (WVNS) Wednesday, May 20, 2020 5:33 p.m. — The Public Service Commission opened a General Investigation into the quality of water service provided by the Paige-Kincaid Public Service District. PSC Chairman, Charlotte Lane, said the commission received complaints from residents over the last year.
“Over the past year, the Commission has received many formal complaints and a petition signed by approximately 400 residents complaining about poor water service and the high rates of Page-Kincaid PSD. Many of those residents specifically requested the water system be taken over by a responsible utility,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte R. Lane. “The Commission had been promised that these problems were being resolved. However, now that the entire water system is under a boil water advisory for an unspecified duration, it is clearly a situation that requires the Commission’s immediate action.”
According to the PSC, the Paige-Kincaid PSD applied for a certificate to rehabilitate its water treatment plant in Fayette County in 2019. The estimated cost of the project was $3.35 million. At that time, West Virginia American Water (WVAW) intervened and was interested in an alternate arrangement. The water company wanted to develop a wholesale purchased water agreement with or the acquisition of Page-Kincaid.
The Commission granted Page-Kincaid’s request to withdraw the certificate application based on the parties agreeing to discussions of alternatives to the Page-Kincaid certificate project. Later, Page-Kincaid claimed it would only consider a proposal from WVAW to buy both the water and sewer systems. According to the PSC, discussions broke down between the parties after Paige-Kincaid refused to provide information requested by WVAW regarding the sewer system.
WVAW was named a respondent in the General Investigation. A Status Conference will be held at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 16, 2020, at the Public Service Commission Main Hearing Room in Charleston. Page-Kincaid PSD serves approximately 639 water customers in Fayette County.