Paden City Mayor Gives Update On Water Work
The Paden City Council held their regular session on Monday, March 2, at the council chambers of the municipal building. Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser called the meeting to order followed by the invocation, Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, in which all members were present. The Mayor commented on the timeline pertaining to the water project in the city, he said on March 4, 2019 he reported discussing with the WV Rural Water Assistant Water Superintendent and EPA that there were high levels of PCE in the towns water.
Hochstrasser said that it was their own decision to report it to the citizens of the city. They contacted Mid-Ohio Valley council later in March 2019, on the course of action to take for the financing and the purchasing of a new Stripper System. The Application for a $500,000 grant was submitted on April 17, 2019 to the USDA. Readings at that time were 4.9, so they continued to work with engineers for a solution. The Engineers suggested recycling the water back through the system which cost $20,000, but it didn’t help.
In July 2019 the grant for $500,000 was approved for the Stripper project. The project was put out for bid and In October 2019 they opened the bids only to find out there was another $70,000 needed. Another application for the extra $70,000 to the USDA was submitted and got approved in November 2019.
January 2020, PCE readings were at 13.6. On January 30, Hockstrasser had a phone discussion with Jason Williams of the Governor’s office to discuss the water issue. The Mayor said he asked Mr. Williams to discuss with Governor Justice about declaring a State of Emergency for the city and he forwarded the necessary information. He said they spoke again on January 31, and Williams said he would take the information about the situation in front of their committee Monday, February 3, to see what could be done.
On February 4, the Mayor said he received word that the Governor would probably sign the proclamation to declare a State of Emergency, but he would need to send an emergency proclamation to both the Tyler County and Wetzel County Emergency Management Teams for official assistance, and also the Governors Office.
On February 7, 2020, Hochstrasser said he sent the proclamation to all parties needing it, to proceed with the project. Then on February 20, 2020, he found out that Governor Justice had signed the proclamation for the Declaration of State Emergency for the city.
On February 21, he met with Director of Homeland Security Mike Todorovich, Director of Repair Tony Hayes, Tom Cooper of the Tyler County Emergency Management, Steve Yoho of the Wetzel County Emergency Management Team and West Virginia State Engineers on the best course of action to take while waiting for the completion of the Stripper project.
It was decided that the city would purchase water buffalos for the temporary water supply and are now figuring out how many, how to fill them and where to store them. Samples were taken March 2, at six different areas in the city and results should be back on March 14. Hochstrasser announced the Stripper Project is going well and construction crews are working overtime to complete the project as soon as possible, weather permitting. All the piping was finished today and they are now working on getting the foundation completed.
The ‘Paden City Water Crisis group’ announced there will be another water handout on March 14 for residents.
The council approved finances, and the purchase of a 2013 Chevy Tahoe for the price of $17,395 and two handheld radar units for the Police Department. Police Chief Kendle informed council he was retiring on July 1, 2020 from his position. Council members asked if he wanted to recommend a replacement, but Kendle didn’t have a recommendation at this time. Repairs to the sewer system at the price of $8000 was approved. The Park and Pool will be getting help for the projects at the pool from Momentive and their engineers, but the pool will only open if the water situation is safe.
In unfinished business, the second reading on the camper ordinance was approved. Under New business, council set Spring burning season from April 15 to May 15 but will check with State dates to see if they need to change dates. The other approvals were the budget for the fiscal year estimate for 2020-2021, a new Xerox machine for the billing office at the price of $185 monthly, adding Ken Stead to Sanitary Board, and approving ballot commissioners, Eva Springer and Kim Frum.