Moundsville Sanitation Department Getting Some Upgrades

Photos by Alan Olson Amish construction workers work through the elements to complete Moundsville’s new sanitation building.

Construction on a new building for Moundsville’s sanitation department began early this month, as the city looks to replace an outdated structure to allow for better care of equipment and employees.

It took less than a week for the structure — at a cost of $319,541 — to be erected on the former Kittle Hauling property, just off Jefferson Ave., with craftsmen working daily to see the building finished before an estimated completion date in the spring. The current building, just across the lot, dates back to before Public Works Director Frank Stocklask was a kid.

Stocklask said, chief among the issues with the current building, is a lack of space for the department’s vehicles, which are left outside. He said this shortens their useful lifespans drastically.

“In the winter, they have to bring them in and put a turbo heater under them to thaw them out. … Plus, down there, they don’t have any facilities. They get their furniture out of the garbage, they’re in a building that has no insulation,” Stocklask said.

“It’s been a much-needed facility since forever. It’s not good for (the trucks) — it’s not good for the hydraulics. You start those pumps up cold, and they blow a line, and your brakes freeze up,” he added. “You’re losing an hour, hour and a half every morning trying to warm them up before they can go anywhere.”

Stocklask said the estimated lifespan of the garbage trucks, provided by the manufacturer, was up to seven years. However, due to budgeting purposes, the city runs their trucks for closer to nine or 10 years.

Inside the current building, Stocklask pointed out the few chairs beside a radio and microwave, above the bare, concrete floor, with a pair of heaters on the walls the only source of warmth.

“This is where they eat their lunch and get warm, and in the summertime, there’s no air conditioning. These guys go through 10 tons of trash a piece. … They live here more than they live at home most of the time,” Stocklask said.

Stocklask said the construction of the building was estimated to take 60 days from the start date, minus any delays due to weather, which he estimated would be the middle of April. Plans to begin construction on the building were first made in 2014, when council voted to purchase the Kittle Hauling property at a cost of $350,000. Stocklask attributed the delay to finances and extensive planning on the specifics needed for the new location.

At last week’s Moundsville City Council meeting, Stocklask approached members to ask for the new building have heated floors instead of space heaters. The difference in cost was projected to be $13,750, but would serve as a long-term investment, by allowing selective heating of parts of the building when not in use.