To help prevent waterline breaks from occurring along Stone & Shannon Road, the Ohio County Commission plans to fund a line replacement project for the Ohio County Public Service District.
Commissioner Tim McCormick said he anticipates the project will be bid out in the next couple months after engineering work is completed by engineer Morgan Coast. The majority of the funding will come from the county's extra coal severance money along with natural gas pipeline easement money paid to the county.
"We're trying to do the best we can to make people's lives a little easier," McCormick said. "They've been putting Band-Aids on it and we're trying to eliminate those Band-Aids."
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Shown here is the entrance to Stone & Shannon Road off W.Va. 2. A waterline replacement project is planned for the area that will be funded by the Ohio County Commission.
Orphy Klempa, Ohio County commissioner, said although the lines are owned by the Ohio County Public Service District, the PSD is "strapped" for cash for such projects, which is why the county is going to help. McCormick said the county decided to help instead of making residents wait on the PSD to get funding together.
One Stone & Shannon Road resident, Frank Wilkinson, is frustrated with the failing line.
"The water breaks are getting ridiculous," Wilkinson said. "We had five breaks in one day."
Klempa noted the commission has heard Wilkinson's message, leading to the decision to help the PSD with the line. Wilkinson said more money should be spent by the commission on helping county residents. McCormick said the county plans to fund another PSD waterline replacement project in the Cherry Hill Road area.
"Those are our top two," he added.
Wilkinson said he and his neighbors for years have put up with numerous waterline breaks forcing them to go without water at times, in addition to having to boil water for 48 hours when it does come back on. Wilkinson said he doesn't bother boiling his water anymore because of the frequency of the breaks.
PSD Manager Kerry Marshall said he had not officially heard from the county commissioners about the commission's plans to fund the project.
"I'm excited. ... That would help us. That would be outstanding," Marshall said, adding the project would involve about 7,500 feet of 6-inch line. He conceded the number of breaks over the years has been high, but he's not exactly sure of the cause.
"It's rocky. I think it's rocky and maybe the ground is moving," Marshall said.
The Ohio County PSD serves about 4,300 total residential customers. Its annual funding comes from its customers.