MATEWAN — The Matewan Town Council met Tuesday evening and discussed a range of topics during its final meeting of the year, including the Thacker Water Project, the town’s progress toward an amphitheater and honoring Chief of Police David Stratton.
Patrick Rawlings, Senior Designer for Triad Engineering, briefed the council regarding the Thacker Water Project. He said that he had heard back from the West Virginia Public Service Commission and that the PSC’s staff had recommended that the project be approved.
The project would consist of approximately 40,000 linear feet of eight-inch, six-inch and two-inch water line, 16 fire hydrants, a booster station, a 60,000 gallon water storage tank and all related necessary accessories for a total of $2,650,000, all funded through grants.
“Typically, once staff makes a recommendation, that’s all that’s needed,” Rawlings said. “This has us looking for bidding. We should be able to run the first construction ad in January, bid it in February and award the contract in April or May.”
Councilman David Smith called it “a good day for Matewan,” to which all of the council agreed to.
Later, Donna Paterino, director of the Matewan Massacre drama, spoke to the council and said that she had been able to secure a matching offer to the town’s currently $20,000 towards an amphitheater from Coal Heritage.
With other grants, Paterino said that the funds could double to $80,000.
The director also said that she had a “happenstance meeting” with State Sen. H. Truman Chafin at the Williamson Post Office. She said that she asked him if $80,000 were more realistic for him to assist with. According to her, Chafin said that $80,000 was “reachable” and told her that project should be opened back up and looked at.
The council also heard from the Matewan Police Department, but first honored Chief of Police David Stratton. Mayor Sheila Kessler presented Stratton with a plaque for his service to the town.
The 35-year veteran of the MPD celebrated his 62nd birthday Tuesday night at the council meeting. The council, and all those who attended the meeting, sang him happy birthday.
“I thank the council and the good Lord above for making it to 62 and for all the good times we’ve had,” Stratton said.