PSC reviewing nearly 50 percent rate increase for Martin County Water District customers
A few weeks back the Martin County Water District proposed an emergency 49.6 percent rate increase following a water shortage. Friday morning the Public Service Commission (PSC) heard the case.
Officials with the Martin County Water District say they will only be able to operate 60 to 90 more days without the proposed increase approved by the PSC.
"We're going to miss payroll in the next 90 days and all our employees will quit," John Horn, Martin County Water District Commissioner, said.
Horn says they need more money to get the water district operating like it should. He believes the rate increase would give them immediate cash flow.
Michael J. Schmitt, Chairman of the PSC, says he is appalled by the state of the water district.
"I will tell you this, this is by far the worst water district in my opinion in the state of Kentucky," Schmitt said.
Citizens of Martin County say they cannot afford the increase.
"It is a very poor county and many are already having to make decisions between medicine, food and water," Mary Cromer, an attorney representing the Concerned Citizens of Martin County, said. "This will only exacerbate the problems those people are having."
Nina McCoy calls Martin County home. She says she has witnessed the water woes first hand.
"Not being able to take a shower, not being able to take a bath or be able to flush the toilet," McCoy said.
McCoy says she is hopeful the PSC will hear the citizen's position.
"We can't get water when we need it," McCoy said. "This is not our decision. The (Martin County Water District) has made a mess."
The PSC will review the case and make a decision regarding the rate increase in the coming days.