Construction will start immediately on an $8.5 million sewer line extension that will provide service to 158 residents of Pluto Road, Far Trail Road and parts of White Oak in Raleigh County, Shady Spring Public Service District General Manager Jerry Smith announced.
Smith, Raleigh Commission President Dave Tolliver and commissioners Kay Epling and Ron Hedrick and others celebrated the groundbreaking of the long-anticipated project on Tuesday morning with a ribbon-cutting at Shady Spring PSD offices.
"It's well-needed, and construction is going to start immediately," said Smith. "It will be good for the economy, too.
"It will bring good jobs. These are high-paying jobs."
Smith secured the majority part of the $8.5 million for the project. He said he learned about eight months ago that Shady Spring PSD would get money for the project from the state revolving fund through the West Virginia Infrastructure Council. Raleigh Commission supplied $52,000 in county funds for pre-engineering costs.
"We've been working on it three years with the county commission," Smith said. "All three of them were helpful, but especially David Tolliver."
Tribute Construction out of Southpoint, Ohio, was awarded the one-year contract. Tribute will lay six miles of pipeline to serve the county residents, who currently use septic tanks.
Smith said that the rocky ground in the area has caused progress to be slow. It is harder to lay pipe in the rock, and it also costs more to do it.
"It's very expensive for 150 homes," he said. "It's an expensive project, and it's because of the rock conditions out there.
"The cost of breaking up the rocky ground is what makes it expensive."
He said that the majority of residents are supportive of the sewer line project, and all of them have given right-of-way to Shady Spring PSD to lay the line.
"We've been out there, looking for the septic tanks, and finding out where their septic tanks are, and where their line will be, and making it to convenient to the homeowner," Smith said.
Past projects of Shady Spring PSD include a $9 million sewer project at Glade Springs Resort, phases 1 and 2 at Flat Top Lake, Odd and Airport Road.
Tolliver said Tuesday that the latest Shady Spring PSD project also marks the triumphant end of a four-and-a-half year journey for Raleigh Commission.
"I've been working on that for four-and-a-half years," he said. "Finally, we did OK and got the money for it, and construction will start very shortly."
The biggest challenge?
"Oh, getting the money," said Tolliver, laughing. "That's always the biggest problem.
"We just furnished the soft money and pre-engineering money," he continued. "Jerry Smith did a fabulous job out there. He does, all the time.
"He deserves credit."
Smith said that, now that the current project is underway, Shady Spring PSD will focus on two more areas that need sewer lines.
"We have from Rose and Quesenbury Funeral Home back to the Cool Ridge Post Office, and also the Grandview area from The Oaks to the federal park," Smith reported.