Residents Petition for Huntington Sanitary Board Changes

Updated 2 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Residents Petition for Huntington Sanitary Board Changes
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A upset Huntington resident is done with hour waits and excuses from representatives of the Huntington Sanitary Board.

A petition has been placed on line --- and gained  over 100 signatures the first day --- for reforms by the entity which is the Water Quality Board, Sanitary Board, and Stormwater Utility and Floodwall maintenance authority.

John Mcaulay who previously complained to councilwoman Jennifer Wheeler, wrote the petition. It is also on several Facebook forums. 

"It just seems so ridiculous that they bear the title of the city but the city has no authority over them. This is probably a contributing factor overall," Mcaulay a Navy veteran said.

" I like the idea of PSC and/or auditors office. They hopefully would be able to look into it deeper and figure out what's really going. Just not trusting what  [Wes] Leek was saying in the Herald Dispatch. Those numbers don't make logical sense. He just sounded like he was attempting to placate," the resident continued. " Hoping the petition helps demonstrate real concern that things will go up higher than  them. Encouraging them to make real changes to fix problems."

The petition started after Mayor Steve Williams, chairman of the board, told Huntington City Council members at a work session that they had no jurisdiction over HSB matters except appointments.

Previously, Mcaulay told Wheeler: "I've received an original bill and past due bill on the same day. I'm not saying there aren't people who don't pay their bills but many do and we shouldn't have to worry that if we miss a call or are out of town and miss one of their false notices of non-payment that we will be without water."

Another posting stated:

"There have been so many wrong doings with the Huntington Sewer bills to numerous Huntington residents since they started billing Sewer and water bills separate.Also they have shut off the water to countless of homes where young children,elderly,disabled,handicapped even when their water bills are paid and right in the middle of 90 and 100 degree temperatures..."

Mcaulay does praise the Mayor for other accomplishments. "I do think Steve has done good for our town. He's gotten our name out there and is a driving force to bring businesses here, which we need."

 The petition reads:

Over the last several months a growing trend has occurred with the Huntington Sanitary Board. Termination notices have been issued days before or even after water shut off. Bills with no past due are received after shutoff. Multiple bills with varying fees or accounts sent to the same customer.

  The Board states they are trying to collect past due bills of greater than 60 days. They have issued request for the water company to shut off water for less than 3,000 customers but claim to have over 7,000 60 day delinquent bills. At least some of those shutoff request have been just 30 days delinquent or due to poor record management of the Board. 

We are asking the Huntington Sanitary Board to make the following changes:

1. Repair their billing system to include 1 bill/account per service address that includes all fees each month. 

2. Change policy to only request shutoff of water for those who are greater than 60 days past due and have been notified prior to request by phone, mail and notice on their door. 

3. Refund all disconnect/reconnect fees they have collected since issuing shutoff request after only 30 days delinquent. 

4. Issue apology to the residents of Huntington, WV for their mistreatment due to neglectful billing practices.

Under sewer regulations rules of the P.S.C. , an operational audit may be implemented for "operational efficiency." (2.7 Management Audits)

One aspect of the rules state that reconnecting after a turn off MUST occur within 24 hours. (4.8.c)



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