By Sarah Richardson
Greg Belcher, an engineer with Chapman Technical Group working on the water system improvement project, attended the latest Lewisburg City Council meeting via ZOOM to provide details on the status of the project. The project includes the $63 million dollar grant-funded water plant, along with updated water lines throughout the municipal water system and updated water tanks.
“I’m glad to say that everything seems to be heading in a very positive direction,” Belcher reported. “I think as time goes on we are going to have less and less disruption to the public, hopefully here before bad weather we will be out of the public’s way altogether for the most part. Along the trail you will still see some work along the river, but most of the work in town will be hopefully completed and the roads paved before November 1. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Belcher listed a percentage of completion of work along multiple parts of the contract, and stated that work being done in and around Dwyer Lane, Ruffner Drive, and Teaberry Lane is now 81 percent complete. “I’ve been encouraging them strongly to get a position where they can flush, test, and disinfect all the new water mains so they can then prepare the streets before asphalt plants close, without fear of having to dig up new asphalt if a water line would happen to fail a pressure test,” said Belcher. He said they are on track to complete this by Nov. 1, but it is contingent on the weather.
He also reports that the new water plant itself is 51 percent complete. “Everything there so far seems to be falling in place,” he said.
The raw water line intake along the Greenbrier River Trail is now 73 percent compete. The water line coming out of the Yates Tank on Stonehouse Road is 98 percent complete, just lacking some insulation to water valves. He also said that the new Yates Tank is roughly 49 percent complete overall.
The entire water system improvement project is 58 percent complete at this point in time, said Belcher.
“I took a field trip with Public Works Director Tony Legg, and I’m amazed at the work that being done,” said Mayor Beverly White. “It just floored me to actually see what they’re doing with the water treatment plant. It is amazing work. I appreciate all the contractors doing the excellent job that they are doing.”
City Manager Misty Hill updated councilmembers that a new app has been released called MyLewisburg. The app is designed for citizen engagement with ways to view city ordinances, meeting agendas and minutes, city news, service interruption announcements, updates, and links to the city website. The app is free and is available for Apple and Android devices. The app is powered by GOGov, a service that specializes in providing code enforcement, citizen notifications, online permitting and mobile software to local governments of all sizes.
“If you have it on your email, or you upload it to your phone and have it as an app, this will ding to you and we can inform you of what is going on,” said Hill. She said that users can also upload pictures directly to the city on the platform, such as shots of a pothole, or a suspected water leak, or a downed tree on a city road.
Councilmember John Little said, “I downloaded this app since you’ve been talking, and I have found how to get a city business license, what the non-emergency contact phone number for the police department is, and saw where the notifications are. That’s pretty nice.”
While municipal water customers can pay bills through the app, the City Treasurer encourages everyone to instead use the City’s direct online bill pay service, or mail a check, to avoid extra fees from the MyLewisburg app.
In other news, Hill reported that the Layfayette sidewalk project is scheduled to start in just a few weeks. “A lot of citizens out there have been asking, and we’ve been at the mercy of the DOH and their contractors,” said Hill.
A proclamation for Greenbrier Valley Shrine Day 2023 was read by Mayor White, stating in part, “As Shrine International operates 21 children’s hospitals across the United States, and, The Greenbrier Valley Shrine club each year attempts to raise funds to support Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, and, children in the Greenbrier Valley have benefitted from treatment at Shriner’s hospitals,” it was declared that Sept. 23, 2023 be Greenbrier Valley Shrine Day.
Resolution 530: Water System Improvements Project Pay Request 16, was approved by both the Finance Committee and City Council, along with Resolution 531: Public Works Building Pay Request 7.