Boat Skipper Gives PSD Earful On Proposed Sewage Plant Location
Snowshoe, WV – A retired Navy officer living part-time in Linwood told the Pocahontas County Service District board he will fight construction of a sewage treatment plant 500 feet from his home. The PSD board heard public comments during its October 25 regular meeting at the Linwood Library.
In a preliminary report, PSD contract engineer David Rigby recommended construction of a $5.7 million dollar sewage plant one-quarter mile north of the intersection of routes 219 and 66 in Linwood. Rigby’s proposal calls for a covered storage tank and sewage treatment tanks enclosed inside a building to control odor and noise.
But George Fleck, who retired from the Navy and now works as a Merchant Marine captain in Virginia, said the proposal would devalue his Fassifern Farm subdivision home and diminish the entrance to Snowshoe Resort. Fleck tells the PSD board the plant must be built at a more isolated location.
“I’m not a civil engineer – I’m just a mariner,” he said. “By nature and profession, a practical and pragmatic person. Gentlemen of the board, this proposal has holes I could sail a ship through. These defects must be rectified. More suitable locations for the wastewater treatment plant have been identified – locations that do not devalue property or homes and locations that isolate the nuisances and hazards associated with a wastewater treatment plant.”
The board also heard from a local landowner who says people have trespassed on his land to plan the Linwood sewage plant.
Harvey Galford, who owns property next to the proposed plant site, tells the board that trespassing on his property could be dangerous, due to some territorial livestock.
“Nobody’s ever called me, to ask me to go on to my property to look at anything,” he said. “It highly irritated me that I wasn’t contacted, from the standpoint that – ‘what am I – chopped liver or something?’ – that you all don’t have the decency to give me – even Mr. Rigby – that they can’t come to me and ask me what you want done,” he added.
“If you want to talk to me, legally, come talk to me,” he said. “But if you’re going to keep sending whoever, whatever and when on my property and the buffalo hits him in the *** and knocks him back across the fence, you know, don’t come looking to me and say, ‘well, I’m one of those persons that riled that buffalo down there, because those buffalo will hit you if they get the chance,” he said.
Eric Lindberg, representing Slatyfork Farms homeowners association, says subdivision residents don’t oppose a sewage plant in the valley, but don’t want it near their property.
“The majority of our membership does not oppose a valley plant,” he said. “We feel like, in the long term health and growth in the valley, a plant is necessary, but we are opposed, like everybody else – we don’t want it in our backyard.”
Snowshoe resident Bob Forrest tells the board they are doing a good job dealing with ratepayer concerns.
“In my mind, the majority of the PSD is doing a very good job of looking after the homeowner/ratepayers/existing people that are funding this process and looking after our interests and I’d like to make sure – I’d like to compliment them on what they’re doing and let them get on with it,” he said.
Five people spoke against the Rigby proposal and two spoke in favor of it during the meeting.
The board received proposals from six engineering firms to design a system to remove metals from the Silver Creek sewage plant effluent. The six firms that submitted proposals are: S and S Engineers; Cerrone and Associates; Randolph Engineering; CTL Engineering; Dunn Engineers and Potesta and Associates.
The board will review the proposals at future meetings.
In other business, the PSD board:
– agreed to schedule a work session to consider changes to association billing policies.
– directed board attorney Chris Negley to contact Thrasher Engineering engineer Ken Moran to discuss reported deficiencies in the West Ridge collection system.
– tabled action on hiring Spencer and Associates as an auditor.
– voted 3-0 to defer payment of a $7,162.31 invoice from law firm Spilman,Thomas and Battle until the invoice can be verified.
– approved the financial statements for October, which indicated $105,185.76 in income and $171,371.42 in expenditures under the sewer account (not including the excluded payment); and $8,464.98 in income and $10,163.45 in expenditures under the water account.