The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

August 20, 2011

County Commission updated on water project

Wyoming County

PINEVILLE — Getting water to 131 customers in the Coal Mountain/Hanover area will cost approximately $5 million, according to Robert Hazelwood, vice president of Pentree Inc., an engineering company based in Princeton.

Wyoming County commissioners looked over the plans during their meeting Wednesday.

The project is now a “stand-alone” undertaking as opposed to being part of a widespread water plan for all of Wyoming County and portions of McDowell County using R.D. Bailey Lake as the water source.

The multi-county R.D. Bailey project failed to receive federal funding.

This scaled-down version will extend the Oceana water system to Coal Mountain, also using water from the Ravencliff-McGraws-Saulsville system.

Hazelwood said a new water treatment plant will not be needed, so extending the pipe and construction of one water storage tank will work for this project.

He said only 12,000 gallons per day will be required to service the area.

Officials are working to obtain funding for the project.

Phase two of the Matheny water project, which will take water to an additional 60 customers along a quarter-mile stretch, will cost a projected $1.6 million, Hazelwood said.

This area will encompass Chestnut Branch and Coon Branch, among others, toward Oceana, according to officials.

Advertising for bids should begin within 30 days or so, Hazelwood told commissioners, with contracts awarded two or three months after that.

A construction contract could be awarded by December, if there are no unforeseen problems, though construction work may not begin until next spring, according to officials.

Construction is expected to take about six months.

Once this phase is completed, the Oceana and Pineville systems will both be connected with the Ravencliff-McGraws-Saulsville system.

To provide water from one system to another will be a matter of turning a valve, according to officials.

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Commissioners again discussed a video designed to increase tourism in Wyoming County.

The cost of producing the video will be $20,000, according to Silas Mullins, commission president.

The commission will pay $10,000 of that cost, according to commissioner Jason Mullins.

The Wyoming County Economic Development Authority and the Wyoming County Convention and Visitors Bureau will pay $5,000 each on the cost — if the commission decides to move forward, Jason Mullins said.

Jason Mullins wants the video available to anyone “because the taxpayers are paying for this.”

Commissioners tabled the project.

“There is no place to stay in Wyoming County,” Silas Mullins noted.

He explained that tourism is in the county is leveling out because there is a limited number of hotel/motel rooms for tourists.

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In other business, commissioners approved a one-time fee of $1,810 for high-speed, wireless Internet service in the courthouse lobby.

“In this day and time ... we owe this to the taxpayers of Wyoming County,” Jason Mullins said.

Additionally, commissioners approved $150 per month for up to 10 radios for county employees as a way to improve communication as well as reduce non-emergency radio traffic on the emergency frequencies, according to Jason Mullins.

With no cell service in a large portion of the county, the radios would allow the commissioners as well as county employees to communicate.

In another matter, Silas Mullins noted the tower under construction on Saulsville Mountain is an “emergency communications” tower and not a cell phone tower.

Cell phone companies can buy space on the tower, but none have done that thus far, according to Dean Meadows, county Emergency Services director.

He said AT&T provided a “letter of intent” two years ago to buy space on the tower but hasn’t moved forward since that time.

— E-mail: mcbrooks@register-herald.com

 

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