Opponents protest plans for Linwood sewage plant

Durbin, W.Va. – During Tuesday night’s Pocahontas Public Service District meeting, Linwood resident Russell Holt criticizes board chairman Tom Shipley for planning a sewage plant in Linwood, when Sharp successfully opposed a sewage plant on his family farm.

“Who’s going to save the town of Linwood from Shipley’s sewer behind the Inn at Snowshoe?” he said. “Why is this any different than Shipley’s campaign of save the Sharp’s farm? Why is it wrong for the Sharp’s farm but right for the town of Linwood? Is Shipley being a hypocrite and his behavior duplicitous? Why is his property worth more than yours or your neighbor’s?”

The PSD submitted plans for two sewage plants to the PSC for approval. One plant would replace the aging Snowshoe Village plant and a second would be located on property behind the Inn at Snowshoe in Linwood. Holt, four other area landowners and Snowshoe Mountain, Inc., are prosecuting a legal action at the Public Service Commission, hoping to force construction of a single plant on Snowshoe Drive.
PSD board member Amon Tracey has opposed the two-plant design and condemned the high cost of additional legal and engineering costs due to the PSD’s rejection of the single-plant design.

Tracey confronts fellow board member David Litsey on the strained PSD finances and Litsey responds.

“We look like idiots, which they called us,” Tracey said. “We look like idiots trying to run a business and we don’t know what we’re doing. Do we know what we’re doing?”

“I believe we know what we’re doing,” Litsey responded. “There’s obviously a lot of politics involved. But I think we’re moving in a straightforward manner to accomplish something that hasn’t been able to be accomplished in 10 years.”

The Public Service Commission ordered PSD contract engineer David Rigby to attend a recent status conference in Charleston. Tracey tells board attorney Chris Negley says the Public Service Commission should pay for the expense.

“Well, if they’re going to order him to come there, then why don’t they pay him and get it off of our list of payments?” Tracey asked. “You know, if they ordered him to come there, they certainly should pay him – not us – because we’re dead broke. Of course, I guess the State’s got ‘bookoodles’ of money, I don’t know. But anyhow, ask them if they will not pay the bill.”

The board approved payment of current bills, minus the invoice for the engineer’s appearance in Charleston, and directed Negley to ask the PSC about the bill.

During discussion of the defective Hawthorne Loop sewage collection system, Litsey says Snowshoe withheld information about the system when it was transferred to the PSD.

“To me, it’s clearly one of those things that was material information that was withheld from the transfer and not properly detected, and would fall under the qualifications of those issues, raised prior to the transfer, which would be the responsibility of Snowshoe Mountain corporation,” he said.

“It is clearly, in my mind, the responsibility of Snowshoe Mountain corporation, financially, that the cost of allowing this thing to leak, year after year after year, could amount to a whole lot.”

The PSD agreed to hold a work session with engineer William Swecker to discuss possible repairs to the collection system.

PSD wastewater operations manager Lloyd Coleman told the board power was for two days following the recent windstorm. Coleman said a sewage spill could occur if the power was out for a longer duration.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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