Changes coming to Day Report

Seats were at a premium in the county commission room Tuesday as residents settled in to hear discussion on particular issues. One issue with many voices dealt with the Glady Gas storage field. Hillsboro resident Beth Little was on the agenda to present her research, and Dominion and Columbia Gas Transmission representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information. C. Moore photo
Seats were at a premium in the county commission room Tuesday as residents settled in to hear discussion on particular issues. One issue with many voices dealt with the Glady Gas storage field. Hillsboro resident Beth Little was on the agenda to present her research, and Dominion and Columbia Gas Transmission representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information. C. Moore photo

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

Seats were hard to find at Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting as Honorable Judge James J. Rowe, along with Greenbrier County Day Report Director Laura Legg and Chief Probation Officer for the 11th Circuit Tonya Hoover, appeared before the commission to discuss separating the Pocahontas County Community Corrections program from Randolph County and a possible participation with the Greenbrier County Community Corrections program for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year.

“I’ve been working very closely with the Greenbrier County Day Report program,” Rowe said, “and in my work, I’ve encountered a lot of difficulty with Day Report here in this county.

“I’m here today to ask if, rather than duplicate services with Randolph County, whether or not the Pocahontas County Commission would be willing to work with the Greenbrier County Day Report and let them assume responsibility of the entire Day Report aspect of community corrections here.”

Due to discrepancies, other department ties have been severed with the Randolph County program, and at the request of the Supreme Court, the Greenbrier County Day Report Center has expressed a willingness to take over their services, effective February 1.

If the commission were to accept Rowe’s proposal, the Pocahontas County Community Corrections program would take on a model similar to that in Greenbrier County. Positions will be advertised within the county, and a panel would interview each applicant.

Fifteen – 16 different group therapies would be held per week, along with individual therapy, and transportation to each appointment would be available for those who need it – as well as other services.

“I see numerous advantages to going with the Greenbrier County program,” commissioner David McLaughlin said. “With a termination from Randolph County, we can’t sit around for too long.”

Commission president Bill Beard moved to draft a Memorandum of Understanding in order to work with the Greenbrier County Day Report Center and Drug Court for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year. The motion passed unanimously.

Glady Gas Storage Field

A recent gas leak in southern California raised concern for Hillsboro resident Beth Little – Little’s daughter lives within miles of the California well. This prompted Little to look into the gas storage field located in the northern end of Pocahontas County.

According to her research, the Glady Gas Storage Field houses 53 wells – 16 of which are from the late 1950s and mid-1960s, – and Little believes it is around the time a well hits 50 or 60 years old that deterioration becomes an issue.

“This is just a bunch of information to let you gentlemen know that this is up there,” Little said, “and I guess my biggest questions concern the casing, the cement jobs, and how good they are. Like the Boy Scout motto, I’d rather be prepared.”

To add to the conversation, three representatives from Dominion Transmission and one from Columbia Transmission attended Tuesday’s meeting, as well.

“Dominion is one of the largest storage operators in the United States, and we’ve taken a lot of steps to upgrade our original production wells,” Dominion Transmission Storage Operations director John Love said. “These were depleted fields that were originally developed for production. The original native gas was produced out, and then after careful geologic consideration, certain areas were selected for development for gas storage. The wells were then reworked with casing, rerun, cemented and developed for gas storage back when the fields were developed.

“The reason we have storage is – what everyone realizes is, in periods of low gas usage in the summer, gas is injected into the storage fields to store it for those winter peak times when the gas is more needed to meet high volume loads and commercial needs for our customers.”

To ensure the integrity and safety of their storage fields, Dominion runs periodic logs – electronic downhole logs – to test the integrity of the casing and to look for internal and/or external corrosion.

The company conducts regular inspections of their wells by physically looking at the well heads, visiting the site, conducting daily fly-over checks, and looking for any venting of gas or leaks to ensure that they are up-to-date on well conditions.

Dominion Gas Control and Operations team look for differences – anything that would look unusual – in the wells by monitoring pressure for anomalies, as well as conducting smart pig checks every seven years.

“They are computerized, robotic devices you insert inside the pipe,” Dominion’s Technical Consultant Bob Ordoeff explained. “They take various, millions and millions of data points where it shows protection, weld integrity, wall thickness and anomalies in the pipes.”

Once the pig has been removed, readings can inform Dominion, within inches, where an anomaly might have occurred and allows them to dig up, test and replace a pipe if necessary.

Columbia Gas Transmission representative Brittany Carnes spoke on the CGT maintained and operated Glady Storage Field, as well. “In addition to what John said, we have integrity monitoring – also known as Magnetic Flux Leakage monitoring,” she explained. “It’s a tool that goes down our vertical lines as a proactive measure, rather than a reactive one, to look for any indicators of lines needing repairs.”

As the time slot came to an end, McLaughlin took a moment to thank Little for her efforts: “I didn’t know anything about the Glady field, and I appreciate you looking after us.”

In other news:

  • John Simmons presented the Pocahontas County Senior Citizens Center’s annual update to the commission.
  • The commission approved the cancellation of the Prosecuting Attorney Office’s current lease with ReCo and agreed to enter into a new lease agreement/contract with Hart Office Solutions, effective immediately.
  • The commission voted to allow Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation Director Lauren Bennett to transfer the 2013 Skate Park contribution funding of $2272.79 to the Marlinton Wellness Center for the purchase of a new treadmill.
  • BJ Gudmundsson approached the commission on behalf of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation to request funding for window restoration. The commission agreed to contribute $4,800 to the Foundation for the restoration of windows in the Sydenstricker House.
  • The commission adopted the Emergency Absentee Voting Procedures Policy to be used in the May 10, 2016 Primary Election.
  • The commission agreed to enter into a contract with West Virginia Interactive for the purpose of the Electronic Transactions Agreement and authorized commission president William Beard to affix his signature to the contract.
  • Dave Dragan was appointed to the Pocahontas County Public Service District Board for an unexpired six-year term, ending June 30, 2021.
  • Due to Pocahontas County’s partnership with the Randolph County Community Corrections program, the commission was unable to appoint a temporary Pocahontas Day Report Director at this time.

The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16, at 5:30 p.m.

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