Lewisburg seeks water rate increase to fund improvements

By Haley Brown WVVA

LEWISBURG, WV (WVVA) Water rates for residents in Lewisburg may soon be increasing to fund a $36.5 million revamp of the current water system.

Plans for the “Waterworks System Improvement Project” include upgrading the existing water treatment plant to reduce pumping time from 22 hours per day to eight hours per day, replacing existing water lines, tanks and the water intake system, adding emergency generators, and removing water booster stations to reduce maintenance and operating costs.

Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester says associated rate increases would be a two-stage process. The first increase would take place in August of this year- before construction starts. He says the rate increase would be about $3 dollars per thousand gallons. A second rate increase would take place after construction is complete. It would also be about $3 per thousand gallons. The total rate increase to water rates would be about 36 percent. Mayor Manchester said construction is expected to take a year from the time bids go out.

Mayor Manchester said the improvements will address water issues experienced over the last several years like low water pressure, lack of water and water boil advisories. Mayor Manchester said, “They’re needed improvements that we’ve been working on to plan to make sure we build a system and upgrade a system that will be good for the next twenty years.”

Lewisburg is a regional water supplier for areas in Greenbrier and Monroe counties, serving over 12,000 water customers. The rate increase would include all water customers of the Lewisburg water system.

A public hearing will be held at 7:30 PM on Tuesday May 21 to discuss the matter.

This is the first water rate increase for the Lewisburg area since 2012.

Mayor Manchester said the city would pursue grant funding, but he doesn’t expect more than $2-3 million to come from grants because of the sufficient household income of the Lewisburg area.

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