MAN, W.Va. — Jesse Alden of the Thrasher group engineering firm gave members of the Town of Man’s council an update on the proposed multi-phased water project upgrade at the January monthly meeting last night.
The engineering report on the possible project is complete, Alden told council members on January 9.
Adding that upon approval an accounting document will be submitted for potential funding applications looking for assistance in the massive financial outlay the overhaul of the water services to the town needs.
He said that under Rule 42, analysis the financial aspects of the proposal will be looked at in the hopes of getting funding in the form of loans, bonds or grants.
“Once approved, we would seek potential funding from the United States Department of Agriculture,” he said. “An application will also be submitted to the West Virginia Infrastructure Council as well.”
For several years the town has had to pay thousands in fees to the Buffalo Creek Public Service District to treat rainwater that goes into the PSD’s collection flow meters. Last fall, Alden appeared at the council to discuss an enormous overhaul of that and other problems the town’s water system has had to deal with over the years. The town will also have to come up with a back-up system to hold a reserve of water as well.
Other problems include the old terra cotta lines in the system which are crumbling away and need to be replaced. In November Alden discussed a possible three phase project to deal with these issues. Phase 1 of the proposed project would be in the $623,000 dollar range.
Alden and Town Accountant Jeff Valet said it might be possible to get partial funding from the USDA in the form of a loan or grant. The loan would run about 2.5 percent for eight years for Phase 1 of the proposed project. Jeff Valet said it might be possible that the new administration in Washington could help with the availability of loans, grants and other forms of funding after January 20. However, in the past the town has been hurt in getting federal funding because Man has the lowest water rates in this end of the state.
Eventually the town will have to do the much needed project due to governmental requirements and system problems.
Another part of the project would be mapping of the system which is required before any large scale repairs or upgrades can take place.
To date, Thrasher has done smoke testing and installed flow meter charts to see how much the town’s rates for sewage are spiking due to rainfall.
Alden told the council that when all the information is ready for submission it will be brought before the Man Town Council for approval. “I will have a lot of stuff for you guys to sign,” he said.
Jeff Valet discussed interest rates for the proposal.
“I don’t have much more of an update than that at this time,” Alden said.
Jeff Valet discussed possible financing for the water project and upgrades. “There are filings that have to be done,” he said.
Councilman John Fekete noted that the total price tag for all three phases could run into a fortune and said the town needed to see the final numbers.
“That would help us to make a better decision,” he said.
JD Charles is a freelance reporter for Civitas Media and former reporter for The Logan Banner.