(01/11/2006)
Facing 2006, Grantsville Mayor Wilbert Kerby (pictured left) said "We're trying to keep our head above the water, do good business and help the community."

Kerby admitted it is a challenge for a county seat that continues to lose population and has few financial resources. The population is now projected at less that 550.

He outlined a number of primary concerns the town is currently addressing, the replacement of antiquated water and sewage pipes and fixing a storm water system that at times causes lots of problems.

He said A & E Engineering has been hired by the town to outline what needs to be done with the water distribution system.

Despite the fact the town has one of the most modern water treatment plants in the region, "We're trying to get the money to replace the lines, some of them may be the original lines," said Kerby.

He said there is a problem with the lines being too small to the town's storage tanks, which means that the plant has to pump for longer periods of time to get the water stored.

"We need to be capable of pumping water for the counties two PSDs, as those demands will increase over the years," said Kerby, indicating part of the solution may be adding another storage tank in the area.

The wastewater sewage system has some major problems, not the least being problems with lift pumps which were installed about 30 years ago. "They are old and need replaced," he said.

The mayor said there are also sewage problems with the pipes and problems at the plant itself. The town is hiring Brown and Associates to develop a plan that can be used to seek grant money for sewage improvements.

"We are also looking at the problems with the storm sewer," said Kerby.

The paving of at least two Grantsville streets was postponed until spring weather, but Kerby said the town will be patching some potholes during the next few days.

Kerby said we will use every avenue to try and build a new town hall, using the efforts of the Town Hall Committee.

Currently, the town is using about $8,000 in donated money for a project to remove asbestos in the old structure, with the intention of looking for bidders to do the work. The buildings, he said, need to be demolished.

"We'll keep trying to move these things ahead," Kerby concluded.

RECENT TOWN COUNCIL ACTION

Michelle Yatauro, a former candidate for mayor, was sworn in to be a member of the council, with the newest council member Diane Shook resigning because she has moved from the town. The council still has one vacancy.

Marlene Richards of Rite Aid addressed the council about the inequities she felt that existed in the trash rates for businesses, with Mayor Kerby saying those issues have been addressed.

Diane Shook will continue to work to try to find matching funds for the trash receptacles for the town.

A letter was sent to the owner of the Rainbow Hotel asking what measures he would take to make the building safe. The mayor said the town is seeking a copy of the report obtained by the owner on the safety aspects of the building including asbestos.

A letter was sent to DEP concerning problems with the sewer system.

The mayor talked about the problems of stolen and missing stop signs and other signs in town.

An issue regarding employee insurance was tabled.

There is now a Wastewater Sewer Project Committee, including Mayor Kerby, Charlie Whipkey, Gaylen Duskey, Ralph Campbell and Diane Ludwig.

The Water Project Committee includes Dave Johnson, Mayor Kerby, Gaylen Duskey, and Cheryl Davis.

The Storm Sewer Project Committee includes Mayor Kerby, Charlie Whipkey and Gaylen Duskey.

Lisa Minney of the Calhoun Chronicle addressed the council about purchasing an ad in a 16-page brochure she is planning about tourism in Calhoun County.

Council indicated they will likely purchase a $350 ad.


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