Marlinton is fortunate to have a state-of-the-art water plant. The water plant brings potable water to the house, but that’s not all. The water plant can be likened to the engine that powers the sewage treatment plant. The water and sewer lines can be likened to the driveline that carries the power of the engine to the wheels that moves the Town. These major utilities are must-have services for the survival of communities in this day and age. Unfortunately, a great portion of the water/sewer lines have reached beyond their expected years of service.
The upgrade and replacement of these service lines and the sewage treatment plant must be dealt with in the coming years. This pro-cess was already in motion, even before the $148,380 DEP fine, just over a year ago. The fine brought to light the immediate need to take necessary measures that will enable the town to replace the aging treatment system with modern methods that can meet current environmental regulations. The current system is unable to meet current standards. The Town has no recourse except to work toward repairs and replacement of these services.
I am revisiting this subject, because whoever the next mayor will be, these PROJECTS MUST BE DEALT WITH. Already, the Region IV Engineering Agreement has advanced to a combined Stormwater, Sewer System Improvements and Water Rehabilitation Project(s). The total for these projects was estimated at $27 million.
When it was realized a full third of the $27 million price tag was in digging up streets and replacing them, the idea of a combined phasing of projects was presented to the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. The idea was rejected at first, but the savings could not be denied. So, the idea was finally accepted. The next process was to pursue any and all potential grant dollars. As many may recall, the Town received another one third of Grant funding, and we are applying for more.
A second and separate water/sewer evaluation is in progress for the PMH/Beard Heights area that includes Marlinton Middle School to the State Police office.
Another must complete project is the Monday Lick Trail Project, which has been funded primarily by a $1.5 million Appalachian Region-al Commission grant. Advertisement to bid should happen in the first quarter of 2023 and depending on contractor availability, work could begin this summer.
Monday Lick heightens the importance of completing the utility projects to accommodate a growing community and the numbers of visitors coming to our destination location. The adjoining trailhead surrounding the Verizon cell tower is a separate piece of the overall trails plan.
I am sharing this in hopes that others who may file as Mayor for the Town of Marlinton will at least be considering the necessity of the need for follow-through on these projects.