MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – The City of McMechen moved forward Thursday on a proposed water rate increase.

City officials tell 7NEWS they are continuing to work with FEMA to hopefully repair from the major flood damage to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. FEMA recently changed its policy, requiring municipalities to pay an upfront 25 percent of the project. This has McMechen back to the drawing board on how to come up with the money.

And yet unrelated to FEMA and the flood damage, the city is paying for Phase 2 of the Water Project and the new water plant by raising the water rate. The current rate is $22.20 and will move to $29.54; An increase of $7.34. This increase only applies to the water rate; the sewer and garbage rates will remain unchanged.

Thursday night’s meeting was just the first reading for the proposal, so no changes have taken effect yet.

“So the next meeting is the 17th, we won’t have the second reading then. So, we still have to have time for the open house, we still have to have time for the newsletters to be out and our notices to the citizens. So the second reading right now is a soft schedule for December 1st….After that second reading that it doesn’t mean it takes effect in December. It will probably take official effect sometime in January.”

JOHN SARCOPSKI, McMechen City Clerk

Stay with 7NEWS as we continue to follow this story.