CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The nearly 500 registered voters in Pratt will get their chance to vote on whether the town's water system should be sold to West Virginia American Water on June 11.
The town's general election is already scheduled for June 11, said Colt Sandoro, a project manager for the county.
City Council must read an ordinance placing the issue on the ballot twice, Kanawha County Commissioner Dave Hardy said. The ordinance placing the proposal on the ballot should be read for the first time during the town council meeting on April 9, he said.
The ordinance will then be read for the second and final time in the May meeting, Hardy said.
Hardy is a native of Pratt. His mother and father still live in the small town in the Upper Kanawha Valley.
He has been a staunch supporter of the town selling the water works to West Virginia American Water.
"I'm very happy to see this issue get placed on the ballot," he said.
Hardy would have liked to see residents in the town vote on the proposed sale to West Virginia American Water sooner than June. However, state law prohibits a special election being held within 45 days of a general election, he said.
"The sooner this is done, the better," he said. "But it's important that we follow the letter of the law."
Hardy believes the town residents will approve the sale of the water company by a "landslide."
"I'm confident this will be passed by a resounding margin," Hardy said.
Pratt Mayor Gary Fields also believes the proposed sale will be passed by town residents. Fields has talked to many residents who believe the proposed takeover is the only way safe, clean water can be provided to Pratt customers.
"The water system is in really bad shape," Fields said.
Fields believes upgrades to the system would cost more money than what the town has available, and officials would have to raise rates to an "ungodly" amount to make the needed repairs.