Pocahontas PSD Chooses Experts Closer To Home For A Karst Cave Study
Snowshoe, WV – The Pocahontas County Public Service District wants to conduct a biological study of the karst/cave formations in the Snowshoe area. They’re not required to, but wish to have a better idea of the area before construction begins on the regional sewer plant. At a special meeting Wednesday night at the Snowshoe sewer office, the board chose the firm of Culver & Jones to do the study.
Culver & Jones is Dr. David C. Culver and William K. Jones, from Leesburg, VA and Wheeling, WV respectively. Their proposal calls for a literature review and two days of field work. They say the initial study would take about one month to complete.
They would also conduct an additional field study in August or September when water flow is typically at its lowest level. There is one caveat – that if any unknown flora or fauna is discovered during the field studies, that could delay their final report. Their bid to do this work is 8,680.00.
The other bids are from Julian Lewis of Lewis and Assoc, an Indiana firm, and Dr. Jean Krejca, with Zara Environmental, a company in Texas. Both Lewis and Krejca offer to do literature and field studies – Lewis for a little over $14,000.00 and Krejca for under $21,000.00.
PSD member Amon Tracey favored choosing Lewis because that firm offers the quickest turnaround on submitting the report to the WV DEP. Tracey says the agency is threatening to impose a $ 246,000.00 fine on the PSD, and he wants to appease them.
However, fellow board members Tom Shipley and Board chairman Mark Smith say choosing Culver and Jones is a better choice. Not only because they know the area very well, but because both live closer to the site in question – additional expenses such as lodging and food could be considerably less. The motion to hire Culver and Jones passed on a 2 to 1 vote with Tracey opposed.
The board discussed a sewage lift station at Snowshoe that froze up over the winter. Estimates to repair the station are around $10,000.00 and there’s a question as to who should pay for the repairs, the PSD or Snowshoe. PSD sewer manager Lloyd Coleman says he’ll contact Snowshoe and get back to board with an answer at the next board meeting.
The board also talked about a Draft Consent order from the DEP. PSD Attorney Tom Micheal says he’s trying to set up an appointment for the PSD to sit down with the DEP and discuss the order. That meeting will most likely be held in Charleston.
The board agreed to send a letter of support to Hannah Engineering, the firm who will be upgrading sewer lines in the Town of Durbin. The lines will likely affect nearby water lines, and Hannah wants assurances that the PSD will cooperate fully should those lines need to be shifted to accommodate the sewer lines. PSD Attorney Michael says he’ll draft a letter to present to the board at their next meeting.