Commission Approves Funding For Stage III Of Pine Grove’s Sewer Project
The Wetzel County Commission met with Barbara King, the mayor of Pine Grove, and A.C. Wiethe, Director of Management Services for Belomar Regional Council, during the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 27. King and Wiethe approached the commission to request funding to begin on phase III of the ongoing sewer project in Pine Grove.
Wiethe stated, “What we are looking at is phase III, the final phase… just about 95 customers left, and it essentially runs from the Byrd Center, all the way into Valley High School… So, there’s 95 customers that will be affected and that’s the final phase. That will eliminate all of the vacuum system that they had… which has, you know, not been a good system… and it’s a very high cost operation. What we put together, and our hopes are, the funding we’re pursuing would be 100 percent grant.”
Wiethe went on the explain they would be applying for an Infrastructure Counsel Grant, Small Cities Block Grant, and Clean Water State Revolving Fund. He explained that the state looks to fund projects that are ready to go, and that Pine Grove’s sewer project needs a substantial amount of work to be eligible to receive these grants.
Wiethe continued, “The State looks to fund projects that are ready to go, and that means your preliminary engineering… your basic design work is completed for your next phase, but more importantly, like in this case, there will be three pump stations that will have to be constructed so we will need three sites that will need to be acquired to build pump stations on and about 60 right-of-way easements, so the more of that work you can get paid for upfront and get completed… the projects ready to move forward, so when you file for your application, they know if they give you the money that you’re going to be able to start spending that money as soon as possible.”
The total cost to finish phase III of the sanitary sewer project is approximately $3.2 million dollars. King noted that she did not use the $55,000 granted by the commission for phase II, so she will be using that to partly fund phase III. She requested $138,000 in additional funding from the commission which was approved.
In other news, the commission voted on Southwest Energy’s appeal concerning the WV State Tax Department’s assessment of Southwest Energy’s wells. Southwest Energy believed that the State Tax Department did not assess the value of the wells correctly, because they did not consider their operating expenses. Southwest believed the amount of their assessment should be reduced. The state tax department countered that they did all their assessments properly. Both sides submitted a proposed a findings facts and conclusions of law to the commission. The commission voted in favor of the state.
Commissioner Robert Gorby made a motion to donate $1000 to each of the six fire departments that participated in helping to clean up the 4-H camp after it was flooded. Those fire departments were Hundred, Wileyville, Pine Grove, Folsom, Paden City, and New Martinsville. The motion was approved.
In other news, Rosie Cozart and Pam Ferrell from the Wetzel County Animal Shelter delivered their yearly report to the commission. The shelter reported that of the 187 dogs that were in the shelter, eight had been euthanized, 67 placed, 79 rescued, and 22 returned to owner. Of the 62 cats taken into the shelter, five were euthanized, 27 adopted, 16 rescued, and 0 were returned to owner.
They informed the commission that of the 37 dogs rescued from the Hope Valley Rescue, they were able to save 35 of the animals. They have received multiple donations from the public to help with the influx of animals.
Cozart explained, “The hardest placement was the pit bulls of course; we look like a pit bull rescue out there because that’s all we have… pit bulls and pit bull mixes because it’s just getting worse in our area because the type of people that are getting pit bulls and pit bull mixes are the type of people that are going to get them for awhile, tie them out, do whatever they’re going to do to them, and then move of and leave them, and then we get them.”
Cozart went on to explain that many animal shelters will not take pit bulls, and they are often euthanized.
The next commission meeting will take place on March 13.