BUCKHANNON — Representatives from the Elkins Road PSD and Region VII Planning & Development Council attended the Upshur County Commission meeting last Thursday to discuss Phase III of the Water System Improvement Project. Carey Wagner of the PSD provided information on the notice of intent to bid CDBG Small Cities Project.
According to Cary Smith, Project Manager with Region VII Planning & Development Council, there is no date on the bid because authorizations have to be approved before the bid sheet can be advertised. “Once the advertisement dates are set in stone, then I will make sure that you all have that information for your record,” explained Smith. When asked by Commissioner Sam Nolte if it was a big project, Smith replied, “It is a $6.5 million project, yes.”
The project will encompass four areas: several different roadways for waterline extension, a new office building for the Elkins Road PSD, refurbishing two water tanks, and equipping five existing pump stations with emergency generators. Carey Wagner, on behalf of the Elkins Road PSD commented, “There are four different contracts to get us to the $6.5 million. Contract one, we are getting a new office building, which is desperately needed, we are currently slipping over the hill. Every time it rains or snows or freezes, we are scared we are just going to go tumbling.”
Wagner continued, “Contract two is refurbishing two water tanks that have been in existence since about 1980, so they are 40 years old. Our contingency from the Bureau for Public Health is either refurbish or replace, and as we know it is cheaper to refurbish than to replace at this point.” The third contract is the waterline extension portion of the contract. Winery Road off of Kesling Mill Road, Radabaugh Ridge, Handy Camp Road and Upper Sand Run, also off of Kesling Mill, will all be affected by the extension project. Wagner indicated that the Upper Sand Run Road project will cross under Route 33 and pick up Wolfe Ridge Road. Scada communications system will be included in contract three according to Wagner.
The fourth contract will include the Route 151 side of Route 33 and includes the areas of Burnt Bridge Road and Osburn Run Road in Ellamore, also known as the Kedron area. Hawkins Road, Beech Run Road, and five existing pump stations will be receiving emergency generators. There will be a connection on the Heavener Grove Road that will have some valves replaced.
Ellamore Fire Department will be looped in the project and will benefit with much better water pressure, and the firefighters will be able to fill up at the station and not have to go to a currently better pressured fire hydrant. Wagner stated, “It’s a long-awaited project for multiple reasons.” Some of the projects are still several years out, as far as start to completion. Wagner added, “We’re almost there. I anticipate that construction will be started by fall, even if we go to bid sometime next month or March, it’s got a 90 day bid hold and that’s still going to throw it close to fall before we get it started.” Elkins Road PSD will be picking up 76 customers from the extension project.
Elkins Road PSD had 45 right of ways to secure and three pieces of property in this last year to get to this point. “This is a project that we have had on our books since 2005,” Wagner explained. The PSD needed the assistance of the Small Cities Block Grant, and at the time, Adrian PSD was in line to receive. Elkins PSD had to wait until the grant was paid out to Adrian before Elkins PSD would even qualify for the grant funding. “It’s a process, a big process,” proclaimed Wagner.
Upshur County Commission President Terry Cutright entertained a motion to approve the Elkins Road PSD Phase III Water System Improvement Project Notice of Intent to Bid CDBG Small Cities Project. The commission voted unanimously to approve the motion for notice of intent to bid. The Elkins Road PSD is hopeful to begin construction in the fall of this year and run the projects simultaneously.