IJDC approves $22 million for Snowshoe area sewage system
Charleston, W.Va. – Pocahontas Public Service District chairman Tom Shipley reported some good news this week. The Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council has approved funding for the Snowshoe area sewage system.
“They are approving the project with a very generous no-interest loan by the state revolving fund, which is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection Clean Water Division – and that’s $21,895,711 for the total project cost,” he said. “And a very large portion of that will be funded with a zero-interest loan with a half-percent administration fee for 40 years. There’s no grant money.”
The $22 million sewage plant will be located at a site west of Linwood on Snowshoe Drive – a site donated by Snowshoe Mountain Resort. The plant will utilize membrane biological reactors, which produce extremely clean effluent water.
Environmental groups, such as Eight Rivers Safe Development, were successful in advocating for a membrane plant, but unsuccessful in their fight for separate mountain and valley plants. All of Snowshoe and Silver Creek’s wastewater will flow in a pipeline down the mountain to the centralized plant.
Shipley says it will still be upwards of a year – or more – before construction begins.
“Final engineering will take a few months and then the process of obtaining a certificate of need and necessity from the Public Service Commission will take several months,” he said. “So, this board will do everything that we can to expedite the process and to make sure we move forward as quickly as possible. But it will be several months before we get shovels in the ground.”
The chairman says the new plant will be good news for the environment.
“I just think it’s good news that we’re moving forward,” he said. “I think it’s very important. There were issues that the DEP was concerned about with other owners of small plants that may not have been operating to the best efficiency and all of those problems will be taken care of with the new system. And we’ve all worked hard on this for quite a long time and it’s time to get our project in the ground and move on with our lives and have a productive and healthy environment.”
Shipley said construction could begin in the spring of 2014.