Bath Town Council considers new water project
The Town of Bath Council and Chief Water Operator Terry Largent met with Engineer Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering on Tuesday morning, November 6 to discuss the next phase of the town’s water line replacement project.
If the council decides to move forward with phase 3 of the project, the water line under Washington Street between Williams and Fairfax streets will be replaced as well as the water line on U.S. 522 south of town from Route 9 to Myers Street.
In addition, a water line along Fairfax Street between Green Street and the old War Memorial Hospital will be replaced.
Other improvements to the water system being considered are the painting of the Myers Street and old hospital water tanks, upgrading the telemetering system and installing new doors, windows and HVAC system at the Wilkes Street water treatment plant.
Largent presented the mayor and town council members with a breakdown of the costs of the project at the Tuesday evening, November 6 council meeting.
The total cost estimate is $2,465,000. The proposal by Thrasher is to fund the project with a $1 million loan at 1% over 38 years and a $900,000 grant from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council (WVIJDC).
The remaining $565,000 would be paid out of the Berkeley Springs Water Departments repair and reconstruction budget.
Mayor Susan Webster said the project will not increase water rates.
Largent said the earliest the project could start is mid-2014. The decision on whether to move forward with the project was put on the agenda for December 4 meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Webster held a moment of silence in honor of former councilman Dave Hall who passed away November 5. Hall served on the council for 15 years.
“He was a truly dedicated councilman who took his job seriously and really cared about this town,” Webster said.
The council approved signing a letter of partnership with the Warm Springs Watershed Association to help kick start projects in town.
Association president Kate Lehman said the projects would be focused on best management practices needed to implement the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay.
Part of that effort will be working with the Region 9 Council to develop a new storm water management ordinance.
Travel Berkeley Springs
Jeanne Mozier, representing Travel Berkeley Springs, gave a presentation on how TBS uses the Internet and electronic media to market tourism in the town and county.
She said the Berkeley Springs website receives 6,000 – 8,000 visits a week and there are about 3,000 subscribers to the This Week in Berkeley Springs email newsletter. The newsletter is also posted on the website.
In addition, there are over 4,500 fans of the Berkeley Springs Facebook page. “According to Facebook, we average about 27,000 individual people reached every week. Now remember, the key thing here is this is free,” Mozier said.
Hotel-Motel tax distribution
Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman Andy Swaim said checks for Hotel-Motel funds will be going out soon to those organizations that requested help.
Largent said employees of the Berkeley Springs Water Department worked around the clock five days straight during the threat from Hurricane Sandy. During the storm, the plant did not have to shut down, he said.
Notes from the Mayor
Webster said she has asked Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for help recouping the cost of repaving the bridge to Berkeley Springs State Park on Liberty Street.
During the September 1 flash flood all the asphalt washed off the bridge. The town budget is out $7,100 of unexpected costs for the paving.
Webster said the legal transfer of the CSX lot behind the train depot to the town is now in process as all requirements of the WVDEP have been met.
Councilwoman and Cemetery Committee Chair Elizabeth Skinner reported 14 trees donated by the Warm Springs Watershed Association will be planted in the Dutch Cemetery.
The cemetery is bordered by Route 9 east and Green and Warren Streets in town.
She said the committee is looking at a project with the Cacapon Institute to help stop soil erosion at the Greenway Cemetery.