BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Calling it an emergency tariff increase, the Coolfont Mountainside Association Water and Sewer has applied for a rate increase with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

The CMAWS is a private utility providing water and sewer services. They currently have 123 water customers and 116 sewer customers.

According to the petition paperwork filed with the PSC, their 2024 operating budget is $164,000. The utility garners 69.6% of operating expenses through its tariffs but according to the petition, the tariff review in 2020 did not fully address the financial requirements of the utility.

The CMAWS has been subsidized by the Coofont Mountainside Association to remain solvent. Dawne Holz, the CMAWS treasure requested a full tariff review “to bring our water and sewer rates more in line with the actual costs to deliver potable water and treat wastewater.”

In the letter, Holz says the hope is that the review will address other issues she says were not adequately addressed during the 2020 tariff review, including appropriate minimum charges and administrative costs.

“As a very small, private water and sewer utility. CMAWS has unique requirements not typical of a larger municipal utility. In the past, CMAWS has been evaluated using guidelines and opinions applicable to much larger utilities that do not face the same challenges of a non-growth,” according to the application, which was submitted May 13th.