Bath considers new water project
Engineer Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering of Clarksburg and Bath Chief Water Operator Terry Largent appeared before the Town of Bath Council Tuesday, October 4 to propose a new water project.
Watson was the engineer and project manager for the town’s last two water projects that have significantly reduced the amount of loss in the water distribution system.
Watson said the proposed project would replace more water lines and inspect and paint two of the town’s water towers without any increase in water rates.
“Your rates in town right now are some of the highest in the entire state. But the good news to that is you finally qualify for grant dollars,” Watson said.
He explained the town now qualifies for a 50% grant on any future water projects from the state’s infrastructure council.
Watson said the proposed project will replace the metering system in the water plant, the water main on U.S. 522 from the Sheetz Station to Myers Street as well as other smaller water lines in town and upgrade the water towers at Myers Street and War Memorial Hospital.
He said the project will cost $1.8 - $2 million. Watson proposed using some money from the Water Department’s repair and replacement fund, borrowing $1 million over 38 years at 1% interest and applying for a 50% grant from the infrastructure council.
He said the monthly cost for debt service to the Water Works would be about $3,000.
“I think your chances of being funded for that is very good because you have never gotten a grant before,” Watson said.
Largent said the Water Department has had a lot of trouble with leaks in town between Williams and Fairfax streets, as well as on U.S. 522 from Fairfax to Myers streets. He said the line from Mercer Street up Fairfax Street to the hospital needs to be replaced.
Largent suggested getting divers to inspect the inside of the water tanks. He said the tanks have never had an internal inspection and the tank at the hospital has been up there for 60 years.
“Any kind of water project like this is huge, and it takes a lot of thought, a lot of planning, a lot of lawyering, a lot of grant writing and a lot of engineering,” Mayor Susan Webster said.
Because there are three new council members that have never been involved in a water project, Webster asked Town Clerk Margie Allgyer to set up a separate meeting so the council can go over the project in detail with Watson and Largent.
Property line issues
Kristin and Charley Willard of Coughlin Street asked council for help in repairing a bridge on the street that provides access to their home. The bridge is in disrepair and the couple is worried that trucks delivering heating oil for the winter will not cross the bridge.
The Willard’s property line, a neighbor’s property line and the town’s property line converge near the bridge and Webster asked Councilman Andy Swaim to research the deeds at the courthouse to determine ownership of the bridge.
In a similar case, Trinity Asbury Church on Wilkes Street has asked the town to help pay for repaving the alley leading to the church parking lot. The church is repaving the lot and wants the town to pay for one third of the cost of paving the alleyway.
Webster asked Swaim to also research the ownership of the alley while at the courthouse.