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MTC begins sewer improvement process

Jaynell Graham
Marlinton Town Council received an update at Monday night’s meeting from Dunn Engineering president Wayne Hypes on the town’s Water System Improvement Project.

Hypes said, as of last Thursday, the water plant is operating on the new system.

At this point, the project is 75 percent complete.

Beginning next week, the roof and siding will come off the water plant, and by next month’s council meeting, the “new skin” should be on the plant.

“The project is progressing well,” Hypes said.

The project has a cost underrun, and a part of the funding will be used to purchase automatic read meters. Aother portion of the underrun was used to add tops and heaters to the new water tanks.

Councilmember Joe Smith, who lives next door to the plant, asked if there were plans to reclaim the grounds once the project is complete.

Hypes said the area would be restored, but that the work would probably be done in the spring.

Council approved payment of invoices for the water project in the amount of $358,364.52 for construction, engineering and administrative costs. Payment will be made from the town’s IJDC loan.

Now that the water system is nearing completion, council has turned its attention to the town’s sewer system, and has begun to take steps toward a Sewer System Improvement Project.

A Special Town Council Meeting was held September 23 where council agreed to move forward, with Region IV’s help, to advertise for a consultant to guide them through the sewer improvement process.

Mayor Sam Felton said this was a first corrective measure, with regard to a DEP Consent Order, to bring the town’s sewer system into compliance.

In addition to hiring a consultant, it was necessary for the town to increase its sewer rates in order to be eligible for loans to help with funding the project.

According to the minutes of that meeting, Councilmember Chris Curry inquired if the town could convert to monthly billing. Sam Dunn explained that in order to do that, an application would have to be submitted to the Public Service Commission for approval to change the billing cycle.

Region IV Community Project Specialist Cassie Lawson further explained that it was a bit of a lengthy process that could take a year or more and suggested that filling out the application could be facilitated by the consultant, assisted by Region IV, but council would first need to vote to apply for the change.

After much discussion, council approved a motion to increase the sewer rates by $9.39 per month or $18.78 per billing period. Once an accountant comes on board, council will look at a second increase.

At Monday night’s meeting, councilmembers Joe Smith and Scott Gibb were appointed to review proposals received from consultants from engineering firms and, with the assistance of the mayor, the committee will present recommendations for consideration by the full council.

Although not on the agenda, council discussed the urgent need to replace the town’s garbage truck.

The town had advertised for bids a few months ago, and received an acceptable bid of $135,800 for a 250hp truck with a front suspension of 10,000 pounds.

Unfortunately, that company is no longer in business.

The town had set aside $150,000 in anticipation of this needed purchase.

A 300hp, 12,000 pound front suspension demo truck, with just 165 miles, has been located for a cost of $137,931.

Council will meet Friday, October 11, at 9 a.m. to discuss an emergency purchase, due to the fact that the present garbage truck is in poor condition and is having weekly breakdowns.

In other business, council:

• appointed Dave Zorn to the Rental Compliance and Permit Committee

• set Trick or Treat for Thursday, October 31, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, holidays excluded, in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building. Access by elevator is available at the back of the building.

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