Waste Water Management, Inc Chosen For Sewer Project At Snowshoe

Snowshoe, WV – At their meeting last Thursday night, the Pocahontas County Public Service District board announced their choice of engineering firm to work on the sewer project for Snowshoe. Here’s PSD chairman Tom Shipley.

“Next item on the agenda is consider and act on selection of engineering firm for Comprehensive Regional wastewater project” says Shipley. “We interviewed three excellent firms. The selected firm is Waste Water Management Inc., the second ranked firm is Potesta [Engineering] and the third ranked firm was Stafford Engineering.”

Eight engineering firms had submitted proposals to the PSD board in early December. Those were whittled down to the final three who were interviewed on December 30th. The previous plan for a regional sewer plant at Linwood was scrapped by the PSD board in 2010, because of the high cost of the plant and environmental concerns.

That plan, designed by Thrasher Engineering, is currently in litigation before the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Snowshoe Mountain, Inc. and a group of local landowners want the PSC to force the PSD to proceed with the Linwood plant. A hearing on this case is scheduled for February 9th at the PSC in Charleston.

The PSD will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, January 5th to discuss the project in more detail with WWM, Inc. A backup meeting has been scheduled for the following Thursday, if the negotiations with WWM break down or aren’t concluded on the 5th. The PSD is under a deadline to submit a new proposal to the PSC by January 10th. That proposal must also include a statement of why changing the project is in the best interest of the public.

David Rigby, President of WWM, Inc. had previously presented an alternative to the Thrasher plan at a Snowshoe Homeowners meeting last August. At that meeting, Rigby argued that the existing facilities still have excess capacity and significant asset value. This is one of the ideas Rigby mentioned in that meeting to take advantage of the existing equalization tank.

“Let’s make the big three million gallon tank your treatment system” says Rigby. “If you cover it, it becomes like a huge warehouse; and inside that warehouse, you can build the walls that you need for three separate treatment tanks, you can build a sludge digester, you can build an equalization tank, you can build a sludge press [and] a filter system; and everything’s there under roof.”

Likewise, he had ideas for upgrading the existing facilities at Silvercreek.

“There’s a treatment plant with a cover on it, sand drying beds and equalization tanks and that’s there now” he says. “So spiff those things up, put on a new coat of paint, replace the UV [ultra-violet] system; fix what’s there [and] enhance the old technologies with new technologies.”

Rigby’s previous cost proposal at 14 million dollars, was about half the cost of the Thrasher Engineering plan. At their meeting last Thursday night, the PSD board did not go into any detail about the current proposal from WWM or if there are any significant changes. The board will discuss that proposal in more detail when they meet Wednesday evening at 7pm at the Slatyfork sewer 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.

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