County PSD #1 project generates concerns for residents

200px-Map_of_West_Virginia_highlighting_Greenbrier_County.svgA county resident with a public comment request garnered the commissioners’ attention during this week’s Greenbrier County Commission meeting on Tuesday morning. Aleksandra Culyer, a resident of Lewisburg on Pond View Lane, stated that Public Service District #1 is operating a waste water project to hook up residents who are on septic systems with sewer connections. The PSD project is ongoing in Rolling Hills Estates, Echols Acres and a subdivision near Hoffnagle Road.

“I want the connection to the sewage,” she said, “but at what price?”

The problem Culyer presented, which Commission President Michael McClung detailed for the press, concerns about six homes located near a pond on Pond View Lane, a dead end street near Hoffnagle Road. The pond is fed by surrounding springs and the water drains into a sinkhole beneath the pond. The geology in the area is stoney and the PSD is considering blasting the rocks for access to lay the pipes. Another option is to use a hydraulic hoe ram, used for jobs too large for jackhammering or in areas where blasting is not possible due to safety or environmental issues.

Culyer was concerned that any blasting the PSD did could potentially block the pond’s drainage port, causing the pond to outgrow its boundaries and flood the low-lying homes around it.

“These people do not feel protected,” she said, referring to her neighbors.

Although McClung said her concerns were legitimate, he and commissioner Lowell Rose affirmed that the PSD will first conduct a core drilling that will direct their next action – whether to blast or use the hoe ram. However, should any damages arise, both commissioners assured her that the PSD and any contractor they hire is insured, and that the blasting firm is bonded by a bonding company, which will protect the property owners from any losses should a problem occur, even if the blasting company was to go out of business.

The commission also agreed to follow up on communications with the PSD to confirm the safety of the project for the residents.

• The lone item on the commission’s agenda – to consider approving a policy and procedures manual for home confinement officers – was tabled in a motion by commissioner Rose in order to allow more time to check with county attorney Patrick Via on any legal procedures and to correct the wording in the document. Commissioner Woody Hanna stated that guidelines are needed for the officers and that it is important to make sure the document mirrors the county’s documentation on such things as sick leave and vacation leave.

• County Clerk Robin Loudermilk announced that early voting at both the Greenbrier County Courthouse and at the Rupert Community Center will extend for a full 10 days from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. She also confirmed that the voter registration deadline is Oct. 18.

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