Garbage rates may hike 30%
Morgan Sanitation is also proposing that they be allowed to limit customers to six bags of trash per week, with a charge of $1 for each additional bag.
The company wants to impose a late fee of 10% on any past due balances, and a re-connect fee of $20 for customers terminated for non-payment.
No reconnect or late fee has been charged until now. Only a small percentage of bills are paid late, Fisher said.
He would also like to offer a $3-per-bag option to customers who put out very few bags.
Some customers put out one bag a week or one or two bags a month. If they opted for per-bag rates, they would purchase garbage bags with "Morgan Sanitation" printed on them so the crew would know they pay a special rate.
Landfill fees, fuel surcharge
In 1982, the Public Service Commission set Morgan Sanitation's base rate at $7.75 a month.
They were able to hold to the $7.75 base rate until a few years ago because of the increase in the number of customers in Morgan County, said Fisher.
Over the years, the Public Service Commission gave them small monthly increases that totaled $4.79 per customer to help cover landfill tipping charges, Fisher said.
A $1 fee was also added to the monthly bill to cover bulky items like tires and furniture.
And, there is also a fuel surcharge, now 58-cents, that fluctuates depending on the cost of fuel.
The fuel surcharge actually went down at the beginning of the year though gasoline went up, said Fisher
Morgan Sanitation has 11 employees and 10 trucks, including pickups that get garbage along roads that aren't accessible to larger trucks, said Fisher.
Morgan Sanitation originally appealed to the Public Service Commission for a rate increase nearly three years ago. The application process is laborious and time-consuming, Fisher said.
Fisher expects a decision on the rate increase by November at the earliest or at least by early 2008.
A complete copy of the rate increase proposal is available at the Morgan Sanitation office, 32 Radio Station Road, Berkeley Springs.
People can write and protest the rate increase and if there is enough public demand, a public hearing will be held, Fisher said.
Letters or written protests should be filed with the Public Service Commission by Friday, July 27.
Letters should be sent to: Executive Secretary, West Vir-ginia Public Service Commis-sion, P.O. Box 812, Charleston, WV 25323.