By Maralisa Marra
Among other updates, Thrasher Project Manager, Kylea Radcliff told the Harrison County Commission last week that the sanitary sewer project expanding services to 400 new customers in the Enterprise area is nearly complete, and that they would be submitting applications for federal funding for several sewer and water projects elsewhere in the county.
The Commission met to hash out a hefty agenda on June 8. Amongst some of the items on the agenda was an update on water and sewer projects in the county from Radcliff.
“We have about 1,000 feet left on the Enterprise sanitary sewer project, which was about an $8.6 million job that got sewer service in Enterprise, West Virginia,” Radcliff said, “The commission has worked diligently on getting that project done.”
She also said that Enterprise had been rated by the DEP as one of the worst areas in the state for sewer service. The majority of Enterprise residents rely on septic systems or directly discharge into local streams or tributaries of the West Fork, according to the DEP Intended Use Plan.
With the completion of the Enterprise project, Radcliff said it adds about another 400 customers to the district sewer system.
She also said that the phase two Route 73 sanitary sewer project is substantially complete. This phase consisted of the Clarksburg Country Club and Laurel Park, as well as the service that begins at the Auto Auction and runs to the Route 73 corridor with construction of a new 100,000 gallon per day wastewater treatment plant in the area from the Route 73 corridor to Boothsville.
The new wastewater plant in this area uses ultraviolet disinfection, and the Route 73 to Boothsville project alone serviced nearly 800 new customers, according to Radcliff. A UV disinfection system transfers electromagnetic energy from a mercury arc lamp to an organism’s genetic material (DNA and RNA), and when the UV radiation penetrates the cell wall of an organism, it destroys the cell’s ability to reproduce, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
She also informed the council that they are finishing up a water line extension on Stevens Run Road off of Route 20 that was 100% grant funded.
“So that entire road [Stevens Run] will now have water service,” Radcliff said.
Radcliff also updated the commission on future plans.
On June 10, Greater Harrison County PSD will be submitting an application to the West Virginia Infrastructure Jobs Development Council for the Quiet Dell Route 20 sanitary project which includes a new 250,000 gallon per day wastewater treatment plant.
Radcliff also said, “I’m happy to announce that as of Friday last week [June 3], the PSD now owns the property that the new wastewater treatment plant will be located on. We were able to work out an agreement with the property owner and purchase that property ahead of time, which is great.”
They will be submitting this application with “the county’s funds as leverage to seek grant dollars through the Infrastructure Council, the Clean Water SRF program, which is a fund allocated through the EPA, as well as trying to tap into the newly created Economic Enhancement Grant which was allocated through House Bill 4566,” according to Radcliff.
The Economic Enhancement Grant is a fund consisting of $250 million that state officials set up for federal American Rescue Plan Act infrastructure money.
She said certain criteria that has to be met to attain these funds, but she said there is support from the community and other agencies in the area. They have had some legislative letters of support written for this project, Radcliff said.
“We are going to do our best to get other grant funds and kind of match the county’s funds with some of that $250 million with some other agencies to create a sanitary sewer project in the Quiet Dell area,” Radcliff said.
They are also seeking funds for an overall water project for the Greater Harrison PSD which will try to tap into some of the Economic Enhancement Grant funds to expand service throughout Harrison County, according to Radcliff.
The Coon’s Run PSD is now under managerial contract “with the intention of merging with the Greater Harrison County PSD,” Radcliff said.
She also said there are some upgrades that are necessary to the Coon’s Run system. The original line connection to Monongah needs to be replaced, and Radcliff said there are some sections that are in critical need of replacement to make sure water can pass through.
Radcliff said they are hopeful that the application going in on June 10 will help to improve the infrastructure, as well.
Radcliff also works with the Sun Valley Public Service District, and she said they are hoping to use some of the county’s funds to improve the infrastructure of that area, too. She said there are some sanitary sewer extension areas that were cut off from the original Sun Valley extension project that was done about 10 years ago.
The Sun Valley project would extend service to areas that are in need of public sewer as well as upgrades to some of the facilities.
She said the application for funding for this project would be turned in on June 10, as well.
“That commitment to infrastructure is really going to sustain future growth, not just commercially or industrially, but also for residential…if you can continue to position Harrison County to be the county where people can work and live, that will continue to grow and sustain the county’s prosperity,” Radcliff said.