Western end water study request for funding

Region 4 executive director of Planning and Development John Tuggle and engineer Wayne Morgan with Pentree Engineering requested $50,000 funding assistance for a study of the water project and infrastructure to develop a water source in the western end. The project is planned to extend water service from Charmco to the I-64 interchange at Sam Black Church.

The funding will cover a hydrogeologic study of a mine portal in the Marfrance area of Greenbrier County where a considerable quantity of water is stored with “great water quality,” characteristics of both ground and surface water, Morgan said. The study will determine that sufficient water is available to serve the entire western end including Rupert, which is looking to buying into the project. Originally, Rainelle and Charmco were not included as well, but funds through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) will allow those municipalities to participate.

The commissioners had already previously pledged $50,000 to the water system project. At the Tuesday night meeting, they authorized an initial $25,000 of the original pledge and as soon as the county receives sufficient coal severance funds, the second half will be forthcoming, said Commissioner Karen Lobban. The commissioners were unable to grant the additional funding of $50,000, but said they would see if money was available through the West Virginia legislature or from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority for the study.

In other business:

• The county commission heard a presentation of the newly revised county comprehensive plan by Planning Commission President Charlie Green. A public hearing was set for Aug. 26.

• Doug Hylton, president of the Historical Landmarks Commission presented a contract for the survey project covering the Organ Cave area in the southeastern portion of the county.

• The commissioners approved adding Al Petrie to the Planning Commission.

• Skunks have overwhelmed the Maple Grove area of the county and residents asked the commission for assistance with ridding the area of the pesky critters. Jim Jeffries, local resident, said 11 skunks were trapped on one property alone. The commissioners could not offer help as they had in the past because funding previously had been supplied by the USDA assistance program for the rabies baitdrop project. Now that rabies are almost eradicated in the county, that funding has declined. However, Lobban suggested Jeffries contact Kevin Groves of the USDA Wildlife program who is conducting studies on skunks’ resistance to the baitdrop and may want to trap skunks from the Maple Grove area for the study.