As of May 5, the Friendly Public Service District is now known as the Tyler County Public Service District.
TCPSD General Manager Robert Patterson said, "We felt like the name wasn't reflective of who we are." The utility has its roots in serving the Friendly area, but they have expanded to include so much more, even parts of Wetzel County.
The Friendly Water Association was established in the 1970s as a community water source for the Friendly area. In the early 1980s they changed their name to the FPSD and served about 250 customers. Now the TCPSD serves over 1,000 customers, with over three-fourths of those outside of Friendly. The utility serves the areas of Friendly, Elk Fork, Pursley, state Route 180, and Cowhouse Road.
They are also presently involved in a project to provide water service from Middlebourne to Centerville. That would add 149 customers. Patterson said it is currently in the planning and financing stage. They are trying to get income surveys now so they can see if they can apply for grants in addition to loans
"With the fracking going on, people are concerned about their well water," noted Patterson.
The PSD petitioned the state for the name change and it was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Water Association, West Virginia PSC, and the Tyler County Commission.
Art Mason, chair of the board of directors, was instrumental in the name changed, noted Patterson. The board met on April 28 with attorneys from Steptoe and Johnson to complete the needed paperwork and the board passed the required resolution.
"We think it will benefit us in the future when we apply for grants," said Patterson, who joined the utility in 2002.