Snowshoe Property Owners Council Files As Intervenors With WV PSC

Charleston, WV – On August 16th Snowshoe Mountain Resort, along with a group of local landowners, filed a complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission asking the PSC to appoint a Receiver to oversee the construction of a regional wastewater treatment plant. On August 20th, the Snowshoe Property Owners Council or SPOC fired back, filing as intervenors in the case.

Ralph Beckwith, Harvey Galford, Russell Holt, Ike Morris and Franklin Santmyer are the other complainants in the case filed with the PSC. It’s the contention of this group that the Pocahontas County Public Service District board has failed in its responsibility to construct a Snowshoe area wastewater treatment plant in a timely manner. They are asking the PSC to force the Public Service District board to complete the project already approved by the PSD – the estimated 27 million regional plant designed by Thrasher Engineering. They also want the PSC to seek appointment of a Receiver via the Pocahontas County Circuit Court to complete the project.

In its filing, SPOC says it objects to any process that prohibits the PSD from responding to all concerns of the general public. The filing indicates that SPOC believes the PSD is better able to do this than a receiver.

Further muddying the waters of this case is a request from the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection confirming that the PSD Board intends to pursue Thrasher Engineerings’ Site 7 design, the only design that’s been submitted to the DEP for approval. That confirmation however, could be overturned later this year. David Litsey, an opponent of the Thrasher plan, was recently appointed to the PSD board by the Pocahontas County Commission. He’ll replace Mark Smith, a supporter of the Thrasher plan.

SPOC would prefer an alternative plan from engineer David Rigby that would upgrade and repair existing Snowshoe sewer facilities but wouldn’t immediately address valley needs.

In a letter to SPOC president Bruce Olsen, Martin Harrell of the EPA says that starting over in terms of a new engineering project for the WV DEP to consider will not be tolerated. While sympathetic to to SPOC’s financial concerns, Harrell says his primary concern must be remedying the pollution currently being discharged from the Snowshoe plants.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission Case number is 10-1279-PSD-C

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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