(05/06/2010)
Officials say dirt will soon fly on Calhoun's $5.2 million, 21-mile water extension that will bring service to the West Fork region of the county, Sand Ridge and other parched areas of the county.

Contractors have 90-days to begin work, with some officials indicating construction could be launched within weeks.

Tim Meeks with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council told the Calhoun Commission this week that construction could begin about June 1.

Water is expected to flow within two years.

The troubled project has been stalled several times, after the Calhoun Commission discovered most of the right-of-ways had not been obtained in 2008.

The commission, unable to obtain the records of the Mt. Zion PSD, asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission to investigate the the missing records problem.

Mt. Zion PSD board members said there are missing gaps with the record-keeping, with PSD secretary-treasurer Wilma Mace resigning from the position which she held for about 25 years.

Existing records are at the WV Public Service Commission in Charleston. The state agency is now indicating they want the Calhoun Commission's request to investigate dropped, indicting the Mt. Zion PSD has worked hard to re-establish itself and is moving ahead.

Mt. Zion PSD attorney Tom Whittier and PSD board president Sharon Postalwait, in a letter to the commission, requested the investigation be dropped, with Whittier at one point indicating the investigation would hold up the project.

The commission has denied the requests, and during a Mt. Zion PSD meeting in Arnoldsburg, the board sustained their earlier support for an investigation.

The main line up Rt. 16 south of Arnoldsburg ends at the Upper West Fork Park, and a second line along U.S. 33/119 runs to Millstone, Sand Ridge and out Big Run Road (Sassafras) to Russett.

The initial project will bring water to 185 customer, with the project opening up other areas for future waterline development.

Following a number of contentious problems with bidding, contracts have been awarded to Bruce Allen Pipeline of Harrisville and Mid-Atlantic Storage Systems of Washington Court House, Ohio.

Civil suits have been filed by contractors against project engineer Jim Hildreth, claiming bid interference.

An official ground-breaking has yet to be scheduled.

- Commissioner Bob Weaver, who is on Workforce's LEO board, announced that the Summer Youth Work Program will likely be a go, with an announcement to be made about May 15. The program hired a significant number of Calhoun youth last summer, completing a number of projects.

- Commissioner Chip Westfall said CRI is continuing to restructure the agency, selling off all owned property to reduce debt.

- The commission reviewed the Budget Control Report and approved a few budget revisions.

- Approval was made for changes to the county's Flood Plain Management plan.

- Fred Waybright was approved to the 911 Advisory Board.

- Calhoun Clerk Richard Kirby expressed concern that the publishing of the May 11 ballot in the Calhoun Chronicle has risen to $7,000, the publication required by state code.

- The commission approved minutes of meetings held on April 12, 14, 20 and 23rd.

- The next regular monthly meeting is set for June 21.


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