WEST Virginians are by now quite familiar with the Public Service Commission Dance on utility rate increases. A regulated utility waltzes in with a request.
The usual advocates do-si-do about how the increase will harm the old, the poor and the young.
The PSC does the hokey-pokey until it agrees to a lower increase.
This seemed to be the case with West Virginia American Water's recent rate increase, which will see the average bill rise $2.77 a month beginning on Oct. 11.
The new average will be $41.88 a month.
The company needed the money to help cover the $85 million it spent on capital improvements, including upgrades in its pumping stations, storage tanks and computer systems.
Instead of raising the $24 million with the 19.7 percent increase the company sought, West Virginia American Water settled for $8.5 million, an increase of 7.1 percent.
All this dancing around the need to fund capital improvements is an odd way of doing business. State government should do everything possible to encourage investment in the state's infrastructure by private enterprise and corporations.