Water board OKs budget, purchases

WEIRTON – The Weirton Area Water Board voted unanimously to approve some equipment purchases as well as the 2014-2015 Water Board budget at their regular meeting Thursday.

Board members passed authorization to purchase Water Treatment Plant chemicals for the fiscal year, which begins July 1, at the price of $142,600. They also authorized the purchase of 600 Neptune water meters for $201,800. Those meters will arrive in smaller shipments at regular intervals throughout the year.

Board members had a month to review the 2014-15 budget, which stands balanced at $4,074,500. It was unanimously accepted. The board also approved the 2015 workers’ compensation premium, which increased by about $1,200 from last year.

Jonathan Carpenter of Thrasher Engineering was on hand to update the board regarding the East End Tank and treatment plant distribution alternatives, which are nearing completion. He and Utilities Director A.D. Mastrantoni have been in the process of researching financing options.

Carpenter brought Senate Bill 373, the “spill bill,” to the board’s attention.

The new regulations are a legislative reaction to the chemical spill that occurred in Charleston this winter, contaminating the drinking water of at least 300,000 people. It requires the registration of all above ground storage tanks larger than a certain size, regardless of their contents, by Oct. 1. This measure comes with increased Environmental Protection Agency enforcement at water intake sites.

“I’ve seen a whole lot more enforcement since the spill in general, so I just wanted to make you all aware of that new law,” Carpenter said.

Board members discussed the possibility of promoting paperless online billing to save money. It’s available to Weirton water customers through the city’s website, although payment by credit card is not yet active on the site.

(Dalrymple can be contacted at sdalrymple@heraldstaronline.com)