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Report: Martin County residents can’t afford water rate hike


NEW AT 11 — THE PROBLEMS WITH MARTIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY’S PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM ARE WELL DOCUMENTED. NOW — RESIDENTS ARE CALLING FOR AN END TO RATE HIKES WITHIN THE TROUBLED SYSTEM. 13 NEWS REPORTER LILY BRADLEY HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY, AND JOINS US NOW LIVE IN THE STUDIO TO BREAK IT DOWN. LILY? JENNIFER, ROB — MARTIN COUNTY WATER RATES INCREASED TWICE IN 20-18 — ADDING ABOUT 14- DOLLARS A MONTH TO THE AVERAGE BILL. AND WHILE THERE IS NO OFFICIAL RATE INCREASE IN THE BOOKS RIGHT NOW — MANY BELIEVE IT IS IMMINENT .. AND IF IT HAPPENS, IT COULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CITIZENS THAT CALL MARTIN COUNTY HOME. 45.8…. THATS THE PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS THAT CANNOT AFFORD THEIR WATER BILL IN MARTIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY. ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT PUBLISHED BY THE APPALACHIAN CITIZENS LAW CENTER AND MARTIN COUNTY CONCERNED CITIZENS… SOT: MARY CROMER, APPALACHIAN CITIZENS’ LAW CENTER, INC. “EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO CLEAN, AFFORDABLE DRINKING WATER.” THE MARTIN COUNTY WATER DISTRICT HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF STATE SCRUTINY FOR YEARS… AND CUSTOMERS HAVE SEEN MULTIPLE RATE INCREASES WITHIN THE LAST FEW YEARS. — SOT: MARY CROMER, APPALACHIAN CITIZENS’ LAW CENTER, INC. “THE BIGGEST CONCERN REALLY IS TWO FOLD. THEY KNOW THAT THE SYSTEM IS IN DIRE NEED OF REPAIR AND THAT THEY NEED TO HAVE A NUMBER OF FIXES, BUT REALLY WHAT THE PEOPLE THAT WE ARE TALKING TO ARE SAYING IS ‘WE CAN’T AFFORD IT, WE’VE ALREADY HAD ONE AND WE CAN’T AFFORD ANOTHER.” CURRENTLY MARTIN COUNTY RESIDENTS HAVE THE 8TH HIGHEST WATER BILL IN THE STATE. THE NEWLY PUBLISHED REPORT FOCUSES ON THE GROWING WATER AFFORDABILITY CRISIS IN THE COUNTY…. BROKEN DOWN BY INCOME LEVELS. SOT: MARY CROMER, APPALACHIAN CITIZENS’ LAW CENTER, INC. “WE HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT THIS AND SEE THAT THERE ARE FUNDMENTAL ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE FIXED AND THOSE PROJECTS WILL REQUIRE ADDITIONAL FUNDING AND THAT CAN COME FROM MARTIN COUNTY RESIDENTS.” ACCORDING TO THE STUDY — 45 PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS MAKE LESS THAN 25 THOUSAND DOLLARS…. WITH 10 PERCENT MAKING LESS THAN 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR… SOT: MARY CROMER, APPALACHIAN CITIZENS’ LAW CENTER, INC. “THEY ARE ALREADY CHOOSING BETWEEN PAYING THEIR WATER BILL AND BUYING MEDICINE OR PAYING THEIR WATER BILL AND PAYING OTHER BILLS.” WE REACHED OUT TO THE CURRENT WATER AUTHORITY BOARD, BUT DID NOT HEAR BACK. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN READ THE FULL REPORT ON OUR WEBSITE, WOWKTV.COM. THANKS, LILY. TODAY, THE GALLIA COUNTY OHIO SHERIFF’S OFFICE CHARGED AN 18- YEAR- OLD MAN IN CONNECTION

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