Funding Mozart Sewer Project

Both state and federal governments have funding to handle emergencies affecting health and safety, even when disasters are not the cause.

Raw sewage flowing over lawns, down hillsides into hollows and quite possibly into streams would seem to fall into that category.

For years, sewage disposal has been a challenge for about 223 homes in the Mozart area. Some residents of the area are served by individual septic systems, others by an old, deteriorated system. At times, that results in overflows of raw sewage.

Some of those involved, along with local officials, have been trying for years to obtain funding to construct a new sewage collection system for the area. It would direct sewage to the Wheeling wastewater treatment plant. About $4.4 million will be needed to construct the system, according to engineers.

Good news was announced this week: The Appalachian Regional Commission has approved a $1.5 million grant for the project. About $800,000 from other sources already is available.

The need for a new system is apparent enough that a coalition of agencies has joined Mozart residents in attempting to obtain funding. It includes the Marshall County Commission, county Sewage Authority, county Health Department and the Bel-O-Mar Regional Council.

County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said it is hoped about half the project can be funded through low-interest loans provided by the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. That funding has yet to be finalized.

As soon as possible – so construction can begin no later than next spring – state officials should approve the loan funding. Mozart residents and those living downstream from them have had to put up with inadequate sewage disposal for too long already.