Pocahontas Regional Sewer Plant – Thrasher Plan Vs Rigby Plan

Snowshoe, WV – Engineer Jonathan Carpenter was asked by the Pocahontas County Public Service District board to compare Thrasher Engineering’s proposed regional sewer plant solution with that of an alternative plan offered by engineer David Rigby. Carpenter, an employee of Thrasher Engineering who’s been working with the PSD for several months, presented a draft of his findings at a PSD meeting Tuesday at Snowshoe.

He prefaced his presentation by speaking about qualifications he took into consideration when preparing the draft. One is the consent decree. Carpenter says information concerning compliance with the decree has been sent to the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection.

“The way I understand the consent decree, that information will be submitted [and] Mr. Pino or Mr. Zeto will respond to the request from the PSD board” says Carpenter. “There may be some fine that may come down based on good faith, who knows, we’ll see what the DEP says.”

He says the DEP will issue a compliance schedule for the effluent released from the existing plants. How much the PSD may be fined will depend on how well it meets that compliance schedule.

He confirmed that there is still a binding agreement for a 9.5 million dollar loan thru the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council at 0% interest for 36 years. However, he says that future funding could be at a higher interest rate if proposed changes are approved IJDC.

Carpenter then read through his draft document to compare the two plans. Rigby’s proposal is for a three plant solution – upgrades to the existing Silver Creek and Village treatment plants, and a new facility at the Linwood Site.

Carpenter says Rigby’s proposal to upgrade the Silver Creek in phases would cost one million dollars. But he says the plan doesn’t specify which phases the money would cover.

“I didn’t know what was included in that million dollars – he just said upgrade’. In my comparison, I utilized construct a 150,000 gallon per day [effluent flow], which is the phase two portion of the alternative in my evaluation” he says.

He says he also had to adjust other figures in Rigby’s proposal to do a true comparison.

So, here’s how the numbers break down according to Carpenter. These numbers represent the total construction costs and the yearly estimate for operations and maintenance. The current Thrasher proposal for the Linwood plant is 26.4 million. For Rigby’s proposal, the cost is 27.6 million. Carpenter says he also did a cost estimate on a revised proposal for the Linwood site – that comes in at 23.4 million. He says the third estimate uses different flow rates which allow for a closer comparison with Rigby’s proposal.

Many of those in attendance were surprised that the Rigby proposal came in at almost twice the cost that Rigby himself had proposed. After Carpenter finished, Snowshoe homeowner Dale Leatherman expressed an opinion on the minds of many in attendance.

“With deference to Jonathan, I just find it hard to put any weight on comparison that wasn’t done by a separate objective party” says Leatherman. “You’ve got somebody who has a stake in the game commenting on somebody else’s plan. There should have been an outside party evaluating both plans.”

PSD Chairman Mark Smith says he’d like a chance to read through Carpenters draft before he’s willing to release it to the general public. The current proposed Linwood site is still being evaluated by the WV DEP.

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