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Durbin moves toward improvement projects

Jason Bauserman
Contributing Writer

After waiting for nine years, the Town of Durbin was finally approved for a new sewer line system.  Mayor Kenny Lehman made the announcement September 11 at a Durbin Town Council Meeting.

The whole project will cost $2.8 million.

Lehman and council members were happy to add that grants would cover $2.3 million of the cost.  The United States Department of Agriculture will aid the town with $2 million.  The International Job Development Council will chip a $300,000 grant. Durbin will be left with $500,000 to borrow.

Lehman gave credit to Region IV Planning Director Jack Miller for his help on the application and grants.

Councilman Mark Smith believes monthly town bills would increase by $4 if the West Virginia Public Service Commission agrees.  Upon completion of the project another $4 would be added monthly.  

Smith calculates that would be a 37 percent increase over the present bill.

“There would be two segregated lines,” said Smith, a longtime Pocahontas County Public Service District member.  “One for sewage and another for stormwater runoff.”

The town currently has both mixing together, causing a large electric pumping bill at the lagoon.

Hannah Engineering from Elkins will oversee the project and Griffith and Associates will be the auditors.

Councilman Mike Bennett reported on another exciting project that council voted to accept.

The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area based in Elkins has AmeriCorps workers who will restore and repaint 33 windows at Durbin Town Hall.  

There will be some costs for this project, and the Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission has agreed to partner with Durbin on the project.

This historic and solid brick building was constructed in 1913 by the International Order of Odd Fellows and was called Dixie Lodge #313.  It was sold to the Town of Durbin in 1971 for $6,000, with $50 monthly payments at no interest.

After council’s approval the previous night, the AFHA Hands on Team (HOT) was on site the very next morning.  The HOT members are Crew Leader Sarah Heuer, HOT Team Supervisor Logan Smith, Andrew Waddell and Donovan Fong.  

They team extracted 12 sashes out of six windows and filled the holes with plywood.  They will repair and repaint the sashes in their Elkins workshop.

Bennett and Jason Bauserman were on hand to help and oversee the project.

Heuer said AFHA could help if Durbin wanted to select certain buildings in the Business District to receive The National Historic Record status.  

At the end of the day she remarked, “We’d love to be involved in future projects in Durbin.”

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