Monterey Lifts Boil Water Advisory
Shortly before 4:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon, the Monterey Town Council issued a press release announcing that the boil water advisory for the town had been lifted, the latest step in restoring normal existence for water system customers who have been living in a crisis situation for weeks. The lifting of the advisory came after town water samples from Monday and Tuesday of this week passed potable water quality standards of the Virginia Department of Health. Town water is now safe to consume without being boiled first. Department of Health Office of Drinking Water staff recommended that the Town continue to operate the waterworks on a normal basis, checking the levels of water in both storage tanks regularly. The Council received the news via a conference call with the Department of Health and the Office of Drinking Water, with Mayor Rich Holman, council members Ronald Wimer and Jack Kilgallen, town employee Mike Isles, town attorney Melissa Dowd, and representatives of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s office, and Central Shenandoah Health District participating.
The Department of Emergency Management staff will coordinate with Highland Emergency Manager David Blanchard and Highland Emergency Coordinator Harley Gardner to rescind the local emergency declaration that was issued by the Highland County Board of Supervisors on August 16, 2017. The Town and County Water Conservation Ordinances remain in effect. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Town Office at 468-2472, and the release noted everyone’s patience throughout this crisis had been greatly appreciated by the Town Council and Town staff.
The council had also called an emergency meeting Monday afternoon. According to the information provided in a press release, the Virginia Department of Health has encouraged the Town to apply for two planning grants. Each grant will be for up to $50,000, and each grant will have a $5,000 match. VDH has suggested they may be able to help the Town acquire the potential $10,000 match from another organization. The work is preliminary at this point, but the Town is gathering the information necessary for an engineering firm to prepare the grant applications. The grants will be used for evaluating, prioritizing, and recommending needed modifications or additions to the Town’s waterworks infrastructure to improve overall system reliability. The Resolution was a necessary first step and waiting would have meant missing the grant application deadline of the end of August, which accounted for the emergency nature of the meeting. The full resolution, which will be ratified at the Council’s September regular meeting, is posted along with this story at alleghenymountainradio.org.