At the April 18 Pocahontas County Commission Meeting, Dave Sharp, an Engineer with Potesta and Associates presented the commission with additional options for the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Water and Sewer Projects.
Sharp had previously presented three options for water and three options for sewer at the hospital.
The three original water options were:
1. Run a line connecting the Town of Marlinton’s water system to the water tower up on the hill by PMH. Which would cost about $2.13 million.
2. Upgrade the existing water system, which would require a new well.
3. Do nothing, keep the existing system as it is.
The third water option was eliminated because the existing system will not provide the water needed for the hospital expansion and other additions such as the new 911 center or possible future expansion to Marlinton Middle School.
The three original sewer options were:
1. Connect to the Town of Marlinton’s sewer system by installing a gravity sewer pipe from the hospital down to the town, an estimated $2.94 million plan.
2. Relocate the existing water treatment plant, which needs to be replaced and relocated, to the bottom of the hill where it would discharge into Swago Creek.
3. Relocate the treatment plant to Buckeye where it would discharge into the Greenbrier River.
Sharp said that Commissioner Jamie Walker had asked him for additional options which could provide water and sewer services to both Buckeye and the houses along Buckeye Road, which could possibly serve up to 30 homes in Buckeye and 55 to 65 along Buckeye Road.
To do that, Sharp estimated that would cost $5.1 million for water and $6.4 million for sewer, since sewage would require several pump stations along the way.
Sharp said that if the commission only wanted to provide sewer to Buckeye, and not to the houses along Buckeye Road, where most residents already have functional septic systems, the cost would come down from about $6.4 million to about $4 million.
The option for water would be to hook Marlinton’s system to the existing water tower near PMH but run it from there to about 50 customers on Beard Heights and to the 80 to 95 customers in Buckeye and along Buckeye Road.
The commission wants to discuss these options more in depth at a future special meeting.
Also at the meeting, Alice Arbuckle suggested the commission set aside a “rainy day fund” from the Hotel/Motel Tax receipts. Commission President Walt Helmick said the commission’s intention is to set aside $200,000 a year from the Hotel/ Motel Tax to ensure the hospital can pay off its expansion loan.
In other business, the commission:
• laid the 2023-2024 Tax Levy, at Class I -$12.690; Class II at $25.380; and Classes III & IV at $56.76.
• awarded the only bid received for the purchase of a pick-up truck to be used for Home Confinement by the Sheriff’s Department to Mitchell Chevrolet for a 2023 1500 Double cab pickup truck at a cost of $47,300 minus a rebate of $6,300 for a net cost of $41,000. The Sheriff’s Department already has that money in their budget.
• voted to re-bid the reconstruction of the old County Clerk building in Huntersville. When it was originally bid, the one bid received was too high, however they now believe it is a better time to receive more bids.
• agreed to hire Karen Hill and Elizibeth Jeffries as part-time paramedics for the County EMS Ambulance Service at $18 per hour.
• voted to advertise for a company to clear trees and brush off the site of the new 911 Center behind PMH.
• held an executive session with Sheriff Jeff Barlow concerning Courthouse Security.
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