City gets loans for utility upgrades

Total of $2.6M to help boost system capacity

WEIRTON — City utility officials are moving forward with plans to potentially expand on Weirton’s water and sanitary services in anticipation of future economic development in the city.

During a July 8 meeting, members of a task force created to study the issue announced the city had been selected to receive funding from the West Virginia Water Development Authority’s design loan program — $1.3 million for the water system and $1.3 million for the sanitary system — to assist with preliminary costs of the project, including engineering, legal, administration, accounting and any land acquisitions needed.

Discussions on possible expansions to the system began last year, when, according to officials, potential businesses approached the city requesting information on the capabilities of the city’s utility systems.

Currently, both the city’s water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant are 4-million-gallons-per-day facilities, and preliminary discussions for the proposed expansion would increase capacity for both plants to 8 MGD.

“Those upgrades would double our capacity,” Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni said.

Mastrantoni noted the group is working on grant proposals to assist with the loan costs.

Jonathan Carpenter, of Thrasher Engineering, during Thursday’s meeting of the Weirton Area Water Board, noted they are looking at multiple funding sources, including state and federal dollars, to go toward the projects.

Ordinances for the financial package are being prepared, and would need to go before Weirton Council for three readings, as well as a public hearing, to go into effect.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)