Pocahontas PSD Puts Off Decision on Karst Study

Snowshoe, WV – At their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Pocahontas County Public Service District board decided to wait at least 2 more weeks before choosing a firm to do a karst/cave biology study in the Slatyfork area of the county. The board had reviewed proposals from three firms at a special meeting on March 22. Two of the firms offered to prepare a report based on a review of existing literature, the third wants to do field studies in addition to the literature. Costs for the studies range from $3,200 to more than $14,000.

The PSD board was supposed to make their decision about which firm to use Tuesday night. However, many Snowshoe area homeowners and other concerned citizens at the meeting Tuesday said they did not know about the special meeting on March 22.

The purpose of the study is to determine the impact of a possible sewage spill in the limestone karst that dominates that part of the county. This area includes numerous caves and diverse cave fauna. The review is a requirement of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for their review of the proposed regional sewer plant.

After further discussion the board decided to ask the two firms who only proposed a literature study to re-submit their proposals including costs for field studies. The board will review the updated proposals at a special meeting on April 14 at the PSD’s office at Snowshoe.

Homeowner Dave Litsey challenged PSD member Amon Tracy’s decision to back the Linwood site for the regional plant. Tracy defended his choice, saying he feels it’s the best option for the county. But Litsey says he can come up with a better plan, for considerably less money–one he hopes to be able to present in about a month. Tracy says he’s willing to listen and consider any alternatives offered.

In other business, the board took the following actions:

Approved a revised agreement with Snowshoe Mountain Resort extending the time limit on the offer of donated property for the regional plant
Approved the purchase of a desktop computer and required peripherals to facilitate the flow of information between the Durbin and Snowshoe PSD offices
Asked PSD Sewer Manager Lloyd Coleman and project engineer Jonathan Carpenter to come up with a plan for examining sewer pipes and manholes in the Hawthorn Valley sewer system
And approved the purchase of a new tiller to replace one damaged due to winter conditions.

The board also opened the sole bid for the SCADA monitoring system from C.I. Thornburg company, based in Huntington, WV. The software would allow the PSD to monitor all the various sewage treatment facilities from a desktop computer. The cost for the software, installation and training is $51,500. PSD board members want to study the proposal before making a decision on whether to purchase the system.

The next meeting of the Pocahontas County Public Service district will be April 14 at the Snowshoe PSD office.

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.

Current Weather