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Charleston Officials Estimate $121,000 In Damage To The Capital City's Economy

Reported: Jan. 13, 2014 2:04 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 13, 2014 2:21 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Taisha Walker) -- Last Thursday's chemical leak is taking a toll on West Virginians in more than one way.

On Monday, Charleston City Manager David Molgaard released an estimate on how much the accident is costing people living in the city. Molgaard said the water crisis caused $121,000 in damage to the Charleston economy.

Molgaard said that figure includes food services, restaurants and water utilities but does not factor in businesses that have a critical need for water such as hair salons and dental offices. A more concrete number could take months to compile.

During a meeting on Monday, Mayor Danny Jones and other city leaders also discussed water and sewage usage in anticipation of people being allowed to flush their personal water systems. Jones said West Virginia American Water customers are expected to pay their sewage bills per usual, in spite of having to flush their toilets more to get rid of the licorice-smelling chemical.

The Republican mayor said he is frustrated by the chemical leak and sympathizes with people affected, but said sewage bills will not be reduced or altered.

"The sewage bill is the sewage bill," Jones said. "The sewage bill is going to be done like it always is because the sewage plant is having to work harder. Sewage is not for profit."

Representatives with the sanitary board said they are concerned about the sewage system being overflowed once everyone under the water ban is given the green light to start flushing. West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre said in a news conference on Monday he doesn't anticipate that problem will exist.



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