ONCE upon a time, people did not worry about their electric bills, or their water or phone bills for that matter. There was no reason to fuss and fume about rate hikes.
Why is that?
They didn't have such services.
It's easy to take utilities for granted. You flip the switch, and the room is illuminated. Press a key and the computer screen is at the ready.
Life without such amenities seems like ancient history.
However, enormous amounts of money and effort over decades made these services possible. Just as with a new house or car, the initial investment was only the beginning.
Appalachian Power announced this week it will embark on a $337 million upgrade of transmission lines, and most of that work will take place in the Kanawha Valley.
Some of the lines to be replaced date to the 1940s. The work will help ensure reliable service into the future.
The state Public Service Commission scrutinizes utility company expenditures, and rightfully so. However, the cost of the work must be reflected on local power bills.
It's part of the price we pay for lives far more comfortable than those of our ancestors.
THE West Virginia Blue Ribbon Highway Commission will hold nine public hearings around the state during July and August.
Officials will present the findings of a comprehensive study of road conditions, highway needs and possible sources of additional funding.