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Efforts for emergency water tie-in continue

September 19, 2012
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , Weirton Daily Times

WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday learned efforts to establish a three-way emergency tie-in between three water providers in the county continue.

Beech Bottom Mayor George Lewis told the commission he will meet with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Thursday to see if he can help with funding for the project.

Plans call for links to be established between water lines serving Beech Bottom, Wellsburg and the Hammond Public Service District.

The links would be opened temporarily so boil orders wouldn't be needed when line breaks occur and to maintain fire protection when water systems are disrupted by power outages or floods.

The Hammond PSD water treatment plant's clear well was flooded in 2004, and its customers were served by water buffaloes and bottled water supplied by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services while the well was drained and cleared to prevent contamination.

In 2009 temporary lines were extended to the district from Wellsburg and the Ohio County Public Service District when a blizzard left the plant without power for a few days.

The links would be located between Wellsburg and Hammond on state Routes 27 and 67 and between Hammond and Beech Bottom along state Route 2 near the dog kennels.

With a $75,000 grant secured from the West Virginia Infrastructure Council and contributions from the commission, parties involved and others, $25,500 still is needed for the estimated $150,000 project.

In other business:

The commission heard from Donald Kostival of Windsor Heights, who said trucks traveling state Route 2 through Beech Bottom have been leaving either heavy dust or through their efforts to wash it away, thick mud that splashes onto his and other vehicles.

Lewis said he's concerned the slick mud creates a hazard so he approached officials with Chesapeake Appalachia, which employs the trucking company involved. He said they have tarred and chipped the lot where the trucks are parked but the dust remains a problem and the lot may have to be paved.

Ruby Greathouse, president of the Brooke County Pioneer Trail Association, said the dirt also has been washed from the highway onto the trail.

The commissioners agreed to contact the West Virginia Division of Highways about the problem.

County Commissioner Norma Tarr asked fellow commissioners Marty Bartz and Tim Ennis to consider contributing to the costs to cut grass and maintain the Hancock-Brooke Veterans Memorial Park.

The park is located off the Main Street Weirton Exit of U.S. Route 22 just outside the south end of Weirton and includes military vehicles and equipment.

Ennis and Bartz said individuals sentenced to community service have been employed to mow the site in the past and could be used again.

The commission adopted a resolution proclaiming Sept. 24-30 as West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees Week at the request of leaders of the group's Brooke County chapter.

Formed in 1957, the group strives to protect the pensions of retired school employees, disperses retirement-related information to its many members and encourages them to engage in volunteer service.

The Brooke County group's leaders are: Sharon Cuomo, president; Mike Ferrell, vice president; Janet Benzo, treasurer; and Pat Accettolo, secretary.

(Scott can be contacted at

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