Logan County has a water project in the Harts area and one at Hidden Valley Airport Road. Rick Roberts, who is the project manager with E. L. Robinson Engineering Company recently gave an update on the status of both projects.
Mr. Roberts said the Public Service District has a lot of projects going on right now that are winding down and will be completed soon. He said there is going to be a Fry extension and a Hidden Valley extension coming.
“I want to thank you all for all the work you have put in and all the phone calls you’ve made. It looks like it is all going to work out. We ought to be able to make a submission to the Public Service Commission within the next week or so and as soon as we get their approval, we will be able to go ahead and advertise for bids. We can be under construction this year.”
Roberts talked about the Harts project, which is being constructed in phases. He said the Big Harts Phase I Project is already funded and is at the Public Service Commission right now. Approval and authorization to bid is anticipated in the next 30 - 60 days.There are 246 customers in Phase I.
The area is big and will have 749 customers. It will cost about $23 million to do it all. Because of the size of the area, construction will be completed in five phases. Roberts identified some of the areas included in the phases — Phase I Big Harts, Phase III Smokehouse and Browns Run and Phase IV Mud Fork.
Phase I is funded and it’s time to start putting in applications to fund Phase II. Phase II will have about 195 customers. Its got a storage tank and a pump station. The idea was to put a storage tank and a pump station on Phase I from the Harts area and if a storage tank and a pump station is installed on the Crawley Creek side, it can feed the area from both directions as a back-up.
With 195 customers, it’s about a $5 million project. Roberts said they are in the process of submitting applications to the infrastructure council. It includes a Rural Utilities Services grant loan package which has been applied for and a small cities block grant is penciled in. Plans are to ask the Logan County Commission for a $200,000 grant. Funding agencies like to see a local commitment to funding for projects like this. It could get their attention and raise it up on the priority list.
Roberts explained how they determine the phases and how the customers get water.
“First, you try to get the largest number of people you can for the same dollar. Second, you have to start at the source and go out. The further you live away from where the current water is, the further away you are from seeing water. Really, there is no other way to do it. You have to bring the water with you as you go.”
Roberts said there are less than 1,000 homes in Logan County that do not have water service available to them.
“Not everybody is hooked up on the service, but it is available to them.Ten years ago it was less than 50 percent, 20 years ago it was more like 30 percent.”
Roberts said the way to reach some of the 841 Logan County residences without access to potable water would be to run extensions. The best way for the Kelly/Blair project may be an extension of the West Virginia American Water system since they have the water at Sharples right now. They have extended it down to where they have put the new mines in and that would be the easier and cheapest way to extend service into the Kelly and Blair areas.This area is 63 customers and has a cost of $3 million.
On the Mud Fork Mountain, the Mingo County Public Service District has a tank right at that area so the easiest way to extend service down to the 27-29 customers on Mud Fork Mountain may be to extend the Mingo County system. The Mud Fork project would cost less than $1 million.
Logan County Commission President Danny Godby congratulated Ben Lowe, Leonard Hovis along with Mr. Roberts.
“These people have done a fantastic job along with Mr. Roberts. Within a ten-year period great strides have been made. Within a 20-year period, enormous strides have been made. We want to thank each and every one of you for what you have done.”
The commission will be considering the grant before the application will be submitted March 10.