Marlinton Town Council Considers $2 Million Drainage Project
Marlinton, WV – During its October 3 meeting, Marlinton council considered a second phase of improvements to the town’s storm water and sewage drainage systems. The town recently completed a $1.4 million project that upgraded drainage systems, mainly south of Route 39. That project was totally funded by state and federal grants.
A proposed second phase would repair drainage systems along First Avenue and north of Route 39 on Second, Third and Fourth avenues. Contract engineer Dave Sharp, of Potesta and Associates, Inc., provided a cost estimate. Sharp says the proposed second phase would cost between $2.0 million to $2.2 million, including all construction and administrative costs. He says the town qualified for Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) debt forgiveness for about half of the total cost.
“With the current rate structure that the city has – that the town has – you’re at just a little less than two percent of the median household income for your sewer fees and with that, it does qualify you for what they call debt forgiveness money, up to 50 percent of the project or $1 million,” says Sharp.
Region IV Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council executive director W.D. Smith told council that one-half percent interest loans would be available to pay the remaining $1 million.
“By the time funding applications are submitted, there may be a better deal,” he says. “But the million dollar, 50-50 forgiveness – and the debt forgiveness is nothing more than a grant – although DEP doesn’t make grants so they have to call it something – debt forgiveness. It’s probably the best deal you’re going to get.”
Councilmember Norris Long said the town had to complete the $1 million second phase to avoid future, more costly problems with the DEP. Mayor Joe Smith agreed. Council took no action on the drainage project but will consider authorizing preliminary accountant and engineering work at future meetings.