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‘Who’s going to pay for it?’: No easy answers to resolve water issues

By CAITY COYNE

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Coal trucks drive on U.S. 52, past a City of Keystone water tank. The water system in Keystone, as with a number of other communities in the region, was developed by coal companies in the early and mid-20th century. Most are still operating on the same pipes installed then.
(Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson)

BRADSHAW, W.Va. — Local officials in McDowell County called a meeting in the town of Bradshaw to talk about broadband internet in West Virginia’s poorest county. But the first question from a resident focused on something more basic.

“Eleven years ago someone knocked on my door and promised me I could get city water. I still don’t have any city water, and I’ve never heard from them since — not once,” Sandra Roberts said. “Will you be like that? When is the next time we’re going to see you all out this way?”

The speakers assured Roberts they would not do that, and that this time, a promise would be fulfilled.

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