Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

The Durbin Town Council meeting kick-ed off April 11 with a discussion about problems with the town’s sewer lines and lagoon.

“Some of our maps don’t match up with where the lines actually run,” Mayor Kenny Lehman said. “And the old pipes are in need of repair. Most of the pipes are old terra cotta, and sooner or later they are going to need to be replaced.”

Lehman noted that the town had already encountered trouble with the line on Third Avenue.

“We also need to make sure that we are following regulations,” councilmember Mike Bennett said. “Mr. [Tom] Ditty [West Virginia EPA] was here last week, and he is willing to work with us. He told us that he’s not the kind to just slap a fine on us because he can. He is willing to work with us on this. There are things that he could fine us $25,000 for. Certain things like not being able to accept any new non-domestic discharges without first obtaining approval from the director of the Division of the Water and Waste Management. Three of the main things that we need to focus on are preforming daily inspection of ultra-violet disinfection facilities, with a written log recording the date of the inspection, the name of the individual preforming the inspection, any deficiency, and any corrective action taken. We have been cleaning them before, with Jeff Wayne cleaning prior to the inspection, but the ultra-violet lights are still not up to inspection standards.”

Sludge testing was another area that needs to be addressed, as well as safety issues.

“We could be fined if we don’t have a boat out there,” Lehman added. “If someone was to fall in, we wouldn’t have any means to get out there and save them. And with the boat, we would be able to get out on the lagoon to test where the sludge build ups on the bottom are so we can take corrective measures to fix that.”

“And I just want to state for the record, that all of these issues didn’t just happen last week,” councilmember Mark Smith. “It’s been building for a number of years. Some of these things go clear back to the time of Moses. For as long as I can remember, these issues weren’t brought up with earlier councils. We didn’t know what we were required to do, but since we have been informed, we have made great progress in order to get all these things fixed, i.e. the terra cotta pipes. We plan to get everything replaced with sealed pipe to increase the efficiency of the lagoon and get its water level down.”

In other news:

• Discussion about poll workers went into executive session, resulting in a decision to move that item to a special meeting.

• Plans were finalized for the Durbin Days Heritage Festival committee’s spaghetti dinner fundraiser set for Saturday, April 29, at 4 p.m. at the Arbovale Community Center.

• Durbin Days Heritage Festival will sell tickets for a drawing for a gun the Saturday of Durbin Days.

The next regular Durbin Town Council meeting will be held Tuesday, May 9, at 7 p.m.

Brandon Nottingham may be contacted at blnottingham@pocahontastimes.com