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WV American Water seeks $89M from surcharge

WV American Water graphicCHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia American Water has put forward a plan that could result in customers paying a surcharge for an estimated $88.8 million in spending over the next four years, something company officials say is necessary to increase investment in water mains and other infrastructure.

While that proposal is expected to fund roughly $45 million in main replacements throughout the company’s water system by the end of 2020, documents filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission show that it also includes roughly $20 million for a new seven-mile section of pipeline connecting Weston to Webster Springs and a 9.75 percent return on equity for the company’s investors — even though the surcharge all but eliminates investment risk for its parent company’s shareholders.

West Virginia American Water CEO Jeff McIntyre said the surcharge — requested just months after the PSC approved an $18.2 million annual rate increase for the company — would help reduce the size and frequency of the company’s traditional rate increases and improve the reliability of the distribution system…

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