Discount For Pool Filling Dries Up

Residents seeking relief from the summer heat in their personal swimming pools will no longer get relief on their utility bills, as the McMechen Water Department voted to eliminate a discount for customers using city water to fill their pools.

Mayor Mike Gracik, who also sits on the water board, said in the past, a city employee would go out and take notes on customers’ water meters while they filled their pools, so the amount could be deducted from their monthly bill.

“We had a couple of residents who came to the water board meeting and they wanted an adjustment in their rates because they power-washed their house,” Gracik said during Thursday’s City Council meeting.

Those residents saw power-washing as an active improvement to the city and filling swimming pools as a luxury, and Gracik said he agreed. But rather than expand the discount, he said, the board decided to eliminate it altogether.

“Our guys don’t have time to run out there every time somebody’s going to power-wash their house to get a reading,” Gracik told City Council.

In other business, City Attorney Brett Ferro said he is working on a new ordinance that would require residents to keep their water meters clear of obstructions.

“We will clean the meters, get them in shape and then the residents need to keep the stuff off of them,” Gracik said.

Ferro said the ordinance will be ready for first reading Aug. 1, with two readings required for enactment.