CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Public Service Commission has announced that it will hold public comment and evidentiary hearings regarding the future of water utility, in Randolph County, next month.

At issue is the Bessinger Rental Management (BRM) water utility that serves a mobile home park in Harman. The PSC initiated a general investigation into BRM based on customer complaints and BRM’s attempts at terminating water service to customers. Some of the ongoing issues faced by BRM customers included BRM’s failure to bill customers on a regular basis and failure to bill approved rates. BRM was also behind on its payments to the Town of Harman for purchased water. BRM provides water service to approximately 10 customers, according to the PSC.

The hearings will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at the Harman Fire Department (the old Senior Center building), at the intersection of Route 32 and Route 33 in Harman. The public is invited to attend and participate in the public comment hearing, which will begin at 4:00 p.m. The evidentiary hearing will begin at the same location immediately following the conclusion of the public comment hearing.

The Commission’s Consumer Advocate Division, the Randolph County Commission and the Town of Harman are all parties in the case.

The Town of Harman has also filed a lawsuit, in Randolph County Circuit Court, against BRM’s owner, Craig Bessinger, claiming that he owes the town nearly $25,000, in water and sewer fees.

In December, Bessinger filed paperwork with the PSC that details issues he’s had with his personal health, with finding employees to read water meters, with finding a billing company that is willing to take on such a small client base, and with alleged harassment from residents. In the documents, Bessinger also questions why the town isn’t willing to read the meters and bill the residents through its system and claims that the town billed him incorrectly for years. You can see these documents and everything else that’s been filed, related to the situation, by clicking here and searching with this case number: 20-0707-W-P.

“The Public Service Commission is dedicated to doing everything we can to ensure all West Virginians have safe, reliable and affordable water and sewer service,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. “Identifying and assisting the distressed and failing utilities in the state is a critical piece of that mission. The Commission is looking forward to traveling to Harman to hear from customers of BRM.”