Water extension issue raised

WEIRTON – City of Weirton officials say extending water service to Thompson Hill Road would be cost-prohibitive for the 10 homeowners who want it.

Utilities Director A.D. “Butch” Mastrantoni said they figure it would cost an estimated $27,000 per household to tie into the system, above-and-beyond the amount the state considers an allowable expense.

“On the water side, we’re allowed to spend about six times the average expected bill from each household,” Mastrantoni said. “About $27,000 for each house was left over.”

That puts the extension out of reach of homeowners, “unless some outside source of funds” presents itself, he said.

“In order to get fire protection and water service, we have to start at the top of the hill, actually over in the industrial park, and hook off it, go the whole length of Thompson Hill Road to the bottom, back into Old Colliers Way Road and then hook into the main line,” he said. “That would ensure the water flows, that there’s no stagnation problem and we’d have plenty of water for firefighting requirements as well as potable water” for drinking and cooking.

He said the roughly one-mile extension would pass through an area subject to slips so “it would have to be pile driven” for stability. “That really increases the cost.”

Mastrantoni said the city normally “won’t spend the money to get an engineer to develop an alternative” without a customer requesting it. So far no one has requested a cost-estimate for sewage services, but it’s unlikely to be any more affordable.

“Again, you’re dealing with pipeline in roughly the same location and through the same basic (terrain),” he said. “It would not be a cheap proposition, either.”

Both water and sewer extensions require “pipe medium that’s tough enough to handle the rigors of both potable use as well as firefighting activities,” he added.

(Harris can be contacted at lharris@heraldstaronline.com)