Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor
October 9, 2012
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of two articles regarding the Oct. 9, meeting of the of the Matewan Town Council.)
MATEWAN — The Matewan Town Council met yesterday evening and heard an update on the Thacker Water Project.
Patrick Rawlings, senior designer for Triad Engineering Inc., spoke with the council on where the project stood and what was next to come.
Rawlings said that the project had been submitted to the West Virginia Public Service Commission as of last month and handed a report to each councilmember which listed each item involved in the project.
“Everything required for regulation has been sent,” he said.
Rawlings suggested that the next thing the council look for is an appraiser to determine the value of properties on lands that had been condemned for the project to go through. Currently, there are six condemnations to go through.
Mayor Sheila Kessler told the Daily News that the condemnations don’t involve any buildings being torn down, but instead ground being dug up. Some condemnations are necessary because of a homeowner dying and the difficulty in finding the next person in line of succession to obtain an easement, she said as an example.
Rawlings told the council that as all things are coming together, he anticipated the approval of the project from the PSC in early 2013, around February. After that, the bidding process would begin which would take up to 30 days. After that, he said that they would have to evaluate agencies, which could take between 30 and 90 days.
Kessler asked him when construction could realistically begin if all things went perfectly according to plan.
“We’re shooting for April or May (in 2013), and construction would take up to nine months,” Rawlings said.
However, despite the delays and time involved, the Town of Matewan hasn’t lost a cent in the project since, according to Kessler, it has been fully funded by grants. The delays have been a result of issues in aquiring user agreements and easements.
However, she anticipated that the Thacker Water Project would still be very profitable for Matewan once completed because of the grants and because approximately 100 people would be added to the town’s water plan.
The Matewan Town Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at Matewan Town Hall. The meetings are open to the public and the next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13.