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Weirton utilities officials pitch projects to U.S. senators

WEIRTON — City utilities officials recently met with representatives of West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators in the hopes of receiving additional support for proposed expansions for Weirton’s water and sanitary services.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Weirton Area Water Board, Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni explained, with assistance from Sanitary Board member Joe Barnabei, the city was able to meet with representatives of U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin.

“He was able to set up two meetings,” Mastrantoni said, noting the meetings included presentations from utilities staff, the city’s Planning and Development Department and the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission.

The city is in the midst of planning for projects which would double to operational capacities of both the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment plant – from 4 million gallons per day to 8 million gallons per day – with Mastrantoni noting the positions of Manchin, a Democrat, and Capito, a Republican, concerning federal appropriations and infrastructure development could be beneficial in acquiring funding.

“We wanted to get on their radar screen,” Mastrantoni said.

Working with BHJ both the Weirton Area Water Board and Weirton Sanitary Board have been lining up loans and grants to cover the costs of both projects. In addition, Weirton Council, earlier this year, approved a total of $2 million from its American Rescue Plan funds, with the possibility of additional funds next year.

Officials hope to have designs complete, with permits approved, and being ready to bid on both projects by May 2022.

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