(10/01/2009)
A broad-sweep investigation of the Mt. Zion PSD requested by the Calhoun Commission, is now underway, according to WV Public Service executive director Sandra Squire.

Following the appointment of Roscoe Gainer to the PSD board earlier this month, the board unanimously voted to send a letter of support for the investigation, as requested by the commission.

The investigation was launched following a series of compounding problems linked to a $5.2 million 21-mile waterline extension project for Calhoun.

The Mt. Zion PSD has sent a letter to the funding agency, Rural Utilities Services (RUS) asking the authority to award the contracts to Ronald Lane, Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Tank.

That move goes against project engineer Jim Hildreth's recommendation to give the pipe bid to Bruce Allen Pipeline, although that bid was $200,000 more than Lanes.

Virginia McDonald of the Parkersburg office of Rural Utilities has said the matter has been referred to the state office in Morgantown, according to Fred Rader, with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council.

Time frames regarding results of the investigation or certifying the PSD's recommendation are unavailable.

There was a delay of over one year obtaining right-of-ways, followed by a failure to provide public information regarding the PSD's financial and business operation.

Board members told the Calhoun Commission in a public meeting they were unaware the right-of-ways had not been obtained, indicating they had not been informed of the problem by secretary-treasurer Wilma Mace.

Mace failed to appropriately respond to a Freedom of Information request by the commission for PSD records.


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