CHARLESTON, WV – An Administrative Law Judge with the Public Service Commission today issued an Order recommending the Commission file a petition in the Tucker County Circuit Court as soon as possible, seeking to place Timberline Four Seasons Utilities (TFSU) into receivership with the receiver being Canaan Valley Public Service District (CVPSD). Parties have fifteen days to file exceptions to today’s Order. If no exceptions are filed, today’s Order shall become the Final Order of the Commission without further action or order in twenty days.
In Case No. 16-0623-W-C, the Commission concluded that among other serious problems, nearly $500,000 was transferred out of TFSU to various businesses owned by the same individuals that own TFSU between January 2015 and December 2016 and that many of the various businesses and individuals affiliated with TFSU had unpaid water and sewer bills that totaled more than $104,000. The Commission placed TFSU on an improvement plan that included requiring TFSU to be repaid by its affiliates for the improper transfers and for the delinquent water and sewer accounts. Today’s Order stated TFSU had violated the conditions of that improvement plan.
The Commission also initiated a General Investigation into the practices of TFSU on August 17, 2018, to determine whether the Company should be placed into receivership after continuing to receive numerous complaints from customers. At the Commission’s December 13, 2018 hearing on the matter, evidence was presented that included TFSU’s delinquencies owed to CVSP; poor billing and maintenance practices; several affiliates not paying their water and sewer bills to TFSU; and large amounts of money being transferred from TFSU accounts to its affiliate companies. Additional complaints to the Commission against TFSU included customers being required to boil water before using it; not having a licensed operator working for the utility; the utility’s phone and electric service being disconnected; payroll checks being declined for insufficient funds; failure to collect the ordered repayment for improper affiliate transfers of cash; and failure to satisfy multiple years of Federal and State tax liabilities.
Timberline Four Seasons Utilities serves approximately 743 sewer customers and 428 water customers in Tucker County. More information is available on the PSC website: www.psc.state.wv.us b
y referencing Case Nos. 16-0623-W-C and 18-0674-WS-C.