Plans laid out for Bath’s next water project
Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering brought detailed engineering drawings and a plan for financing the next water line replacement project to the Town of Bath Council meeting Tuesday evening, December 6.
The plans are for replacing water lines on Washington Street from Williams Street to Fairfax Street, on Fairfax Street from Green Street to War Memorial Hospital and on U.S. 522 from the Sheetz Station south to Myers Street.
In addition, the Myers Street and hospital water tanks would be painted and the Water Works telemetering system upgraded. Watson developed the plans with Chief Water Operator Terry Largent.
No rate increase
Watson said the total cost of the project is $2 million and can be funded without a rate increase.
Funding for the project relies on receiving a $655,000 grant and a $1 million loan at one percent over 38 years from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. Another $345,000 would come out of the Water Works repair and replacement fund.
Councilman Andy Swaim asked what would happen if the town received a grant less than $655,000.
“If we have to cut something, we can do it,” Watson said. He and Largent have discussed contingencies in the event the grant was less than requested, Watson explained.
For example, the replacement of pipe on U.S. 522 to Myers Street could be cut.
Watson said there was language in the last contract that allowed the town, if it so desired, to retain the services of Thrasher without putting the design phase out to bid.
Mayor Susan Webster said she would check the language in the contract with town’s attorney Richard Gay.
Watson said Thrasher would take the job on a contingency basis. If the funding didn’t come through, there would be no charge.
Webster said the process of applying for and receiving the loan and grant and putting the construction job out for bids would take years.
Watson estimated the earliest construction could start would be the summer of 2013.
Streetscape Co-Chair Larry Lower asked council for a resolution to support an application for a Transportation Enhancement Program grant the committee intends to submit in February.
The resolution will be on the agenda for the December 20 meeting, Webster said.
Lower invited the mayor and council to a ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently completed Streetscape project on Mercer Street, December 15 in front of the Ice House.
A Streetscape strategy session will be held immediately after the ceremony in the Ice House, Lower said.
Request for more funds
Danny Clark of the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department asked council to increase funding for the department due to an increase in the cost of workmen’s compensation insurance.
Webster said the council would take up the funding increase when next year’s budget is worked on during February and March.
Lots of applicants
Webster said the town has received 25 applications so far for the position of Town Clerk. Applications are being accepted through Wednesday, March 14.
She established a committee to conduct interviews chaired by Swaim, with members Webster and Councilmen Ken Easton and Vince Kidwell.
Interviews will start the week of December 19.