MAN, W.Va. — Members of the Man Town Council received an update from Jesse Alden of the Thrasher Group on Monday evening, Dec. 12, regarding a proposed overhaul of the town’s water system.
For many years the town has been out thousands to the Buffalo Creek Public Service District paying for rainwater that has gone into the PSD’s sewage system lines. Furthermore the old terra cotta lines in the system are crumbling away and need to be replaced. In November Alden discussed a possible three phase project to deal with these and other water-related issues for the town.
“The draft is finalized for you to go over and look at,” Alden said, noting that Phase 1 of the proposed project would be in the $623,000 dollar range. He said that it might be possible to get partial funding from the USDA in the form of a loan or grant. The loan would run about 2 and 1/2 percent for 8 years.
“This is to address phase 1, not the entire project,” he said. “But this would get you over the hump.”
Councilman Roger Muncy asked Alden what would happen if that projected interest rate went up. Alden said the projection was “very conservative” and that if it did go up it could be adjusted for the rate increase. He noted that some rates on other major projects last year actually went down, noting that such matters “were not set in stone.”
Town Accountant Jeff Vallet said that it would be a good idea to see how a new administration in Washington might affect the availability of loans, grants and other forms of funding after Jan. 20. Vallet noted that because Man has the lowest water rates in this end of the state it has been knocked out of getting a lot of potentially available state and federal funding for such projects.
“It’s a two edged sword,” he noted, explaining that while residents benefitted from lower rates they paid a price for that by not getting as much financial help for needed upgrades and repairs.
Alden pointed out that eventually the town is going to have to do the much needed work regardless due to governmental requirements and system problems. He noted that the mapping of the system is needed before any large scale repairs or upgrades can take place.
Councilman John Fekete asked about what work the town’s employees could possibly do in order to save costs. Alden said they would have to figure out what was within the towns’ capabilities to complete. Mayor Jim Blevins asked him to return next month with an update. Alden said flow meter charts should be able to show how much the town’s rates for sewage are spiking due to rainfall.