Pocahontas PSD Discusses Fourth Option For Linwood Area Sewage Plant

Snowshoe, WV – In January last year, the Pocahontas Public Service District board selected Waste Water Management, Inc. (WWMI) to design a decentralized, cheaper sewage plant for the Snowshoe area. During a special meeting on Tuesday night, WWMI president David Rigby updated the board with the latest information on design alternatives, before the board selects an alternative on Thursday night. Rigby’s design calls for separate plants to serve the mountaintop resorts and the Linwood area.

Two alternatives for the mountain include a plant at Snowshoe Village, at a cost of $7.7 million; or a plant at Silver Creek, at a cost of $10.7 million. WWMI proposed four alternatives for the Linwood area – including a fourth option revealed during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Participating by speakerphone, Rigby said that Snowshoe chief operations officer Frank DeBerry had challenged him to improve one of previous three alternatives for a Linwood area plant – the Site 7 alternative on Snowshoe Drive. Specifically, Rigby says DeBerry asked him to develop a design that eliminated a pump station and reduced the cost.

“I do want to say that Mr. DeBerry, from Snowshoe, deserves a lot of credit for this, because he was the one that actually challenged me,” he said. “He said, ‘is there any way to configure that, think about that, so that we can get rid of that pump station?.’ It was for his challenge, you know, ‘what can we do about it?’ that this idea occurred.”

Rigby investigated a site on Hawthorne Loop Road, approximately one-quarter of a mile from Site 7 and one-quarter of a mile closer to Linwood. The engineer said the new site, known as Site 7A, offers a number of advantages. First, the shorter distance to Linwood and the lower elevation reduces the need for a second pump station and thereby reduces the cost.

Rigby estimates the cost of a plant at Site 7A at $7.3 million, whereas a plant at Site 7 would cost $8.9 million. Board member David Litsey said that Snowshoe resort had agreed to donate land at Site 7A, as it had done for the Site 7 alternative. Rigby says a second major advantage to Site 7A is its secluded location.

“One of the things I really like about 7A, versus the other sites, is that the majority of people who won’t know that the plant’s there will drive by and not know there’s a plant there, he said.”

Extensive landscaping would be required to screen a plant at Site 7. Rigby said it would be impractical to hide a sewage plant at the two other proposed locations; the Curtis site, near the intersection of Routes 219 and 66, and next to The Inn at Snowshoe.

Board member Amon Tracey asked Rigby how soon a WWMI sewage system could be in full operation. Rigby says the company’s goal would be to have the system in operation by ski season 2013.

“I don’t know that it would be completely ready to go before ski season, but all efforts would be made to try and get it there,” he said.

In other matters, the PSD board authorized the purchase of a 23 horsepower sewage pump, at a cost of $13,458.

The PSD board will conduct a special meeting at the Linwood Library this Thursday, February 9, at 7 p.m., to select one of WWMI’s alternative sewage system designs for the Snowshoe area.

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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