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Engineer Will Study Aged Retaining Wall

By Staff | Mar 18, 2009

Bill Thomas points to a place where the wall holding up Belmont Street in Hundred is particularly eroding. The large sandstone retaining wall is being crumbled with age and weather, leaving the street vulnerable to collapse. Thomas is working with Hundred Town Council to get an engineering study done on the project to be used for grant applications. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

Belmont Street in Hundred has a stone retaining wall built in the 1930’s by the Work Progress Administration that is literally crumbling away due to deterioration over the years.

This retaining wall is at risk of losing its foundation stones that could possibly roll down to the homes below it. In section of the road orange cones now mark the east edge, requiring residents parking there avoid it. If this portion of the road would collapse due to slippage of the retaining wall, it would make this street impassable. One can visibly see the lean of the wall and erosion over the years that has taken place.

This is why the residents of this street are asking the town of Hundred to see what repairs can be done. Bill Thomas presented the town council with a letter and 16 signatures of home owners expressing a concern for this retaining wall and its condition. “If that wall falls, we lose the street,” he told council.

Thomas said he was pursuing the matter out of concern and with council’s blessing, given at their last regular council meeting. “I hope that you don’t take this letter as criticism to the town,” he said. Council replied with an enthusiastic “no”, that they were happy he was taking action.

Thomas explained that he has had conversations with Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering who said he could do a study on the project on a contingency basis, meaning the town would not have to pay for the engineering study until they procure funding for the repairs. In fact, the engineering study would be used in grant applications.

Also, Thomas said he had been in contact with Scott Hicks of Belomar Regional Council to assist in grant writing to get funding for this project. Hicks said the project could be eligible for a Community Partnership Grant that would pay for 80 percent of this project with 20 percent left for the town to contribute.

Thomas went on to explain that maybe the state would have funds available in their emergency maintenance funding to help with cost. He said that type of help is usually in the amount of $1,000 to $2,000 and could be used as part of the town’s match.

He also noted that the town’s grant match can come from in-kind services such as restoring lawns after the wall has been built. That type of work could be completed by town workers or summer youth help that the town would pay for out of its regular budget.

A motion was made and passed by council for Thrasher Engineering to conduct a preliminary study. Thomas informed the council he will keep them updated on the engineer’s plans and he asked Mayor Charles Sine to get in contact with Hicks, since a engineer will be submitting a project in the near future.

In old business, the issue of testing for asbestos in the old school building was again discussed. Recorder Sherry Hayes explained testing can only be done if its really dry.

Hayes also stated that Councilman Phil Lightner and she are working on the budget to be presented later.

Johanna Lemasters, councilwoman, reported they were still having problems with cable service from Zito Media in the town. She said it was reported to them several times. Mayor Sine wants a representative to come and discuss the issue with council members at their next meeting so they find out if Zito can correct this problem.

Hayes reported on a fax she received from Ed Sapp, Wetzel County 911 Director, about the USDA Restore and Protect Flood Recovery Funding. She explained how residents can apply for assistance through this program being offered and suggested anyone within a flood plain or a watershed area could contact her for more information regarding this grant.

The council agreed on May 4, 5, and 6 as spring clean up days in Hundred.

Finally, Lightner informed council that the Hundred Methodist Church will be having a community dinner honoring Buck Sine on March 22 at noon with a covered dish being requested for those attending.

There will be a church service starting at 11 a.m. before the dinner.