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Does Weirton care?

To the Editor,

Recently I was told people in Weirton don’t care about issues like the proposed water and sewage expansion anymore than they cared to make the effort to vote in the last municipal election. I care and I believe there are still enough of us who care and will make the effort to hold our elected officials accountable. When the few no longer remain vigilant, our democracy will no longer be!

I spent 10 hours at the library looking for documentation to support my statement we had 25 percent spare capacity of both water and sewage. I remembered a quote in the paper stating we had 4 million gallons of sewage and water treatment and were using 3 million a day of each. I didn’t find it because one, the library is missing microfilm and copies of The Weirton Daily Times from July of 2018 to May 2019, or two I experienced a Joe Bidden memory glitch where I would swear to something that was apparently dreamed.

At this time, your guess is as good as mine. However, I find these discernible facts curious. At one time, our water and sewage facilities served 10,000 more people than we have today. Today we have water saving toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and shower heads. Weirton Steel is a shadow of its former industrial operations when it alone employed 13,000 people and used so much water in its mills it upgraded our water system in the 70’s to supply their own need. Today, our entire city has 5,000 fewer employed. Since the middle 60s we have built approximately 1,000 new homes in various developments scattered throughout the city mostly on Weirton Heights. If the average residential water/sewage consumption was an extravagant 100 gallons a day per person (I believe it is more like 50), we would use less than half of our present capacity. Yet, our utilities director says we have only 3 to 4 percent spare water capacity and at most 6 percent spare sewage capacity. Officials now say we need the upgrade (double our water treatment and triple our wastewater treatment) for future housing, retail, office, and light industrial development?!

The third and final reading for the passage of this proposal is tomorrow evening at council’s 7 p.m. meeting at the city building. If you care, one way or the other, call your council member and/or attend the meeting.

Blaise Hogan

Weirton

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