TRIADELPHIA - Ohio County Public Service District board members hope Dallas Pike area business owners will agree to a sewage line extension plan they are hatching.
During a special Ohio County PSD meeting Tuesday, about 16 people representing various businesses listened to engineer Morgan Coast unveil the plan the PSD hopes will also satisfy the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Currently, the businesses' sewage plants are outdated, according to the DEP, and need updated. The business owners are contemplating whether to spend money on updating their plants or tapping into a proposed sewage line. Some said if they do nothing or do not meet the DEP's deadline for a plan, they face being shut down by the DEP.
Coast said the new sewage line would extend from the Robinson car dealer area near The Highlands to a trailer court. Several businesses in between, including two hotels and the Dallas Pike Campgrounds, could tap into the line. But they would have to cover the cost of tapping into the line, construction of their own pumping station, along with engineering fees and permit fees. Depending on the size and location of the operation, the estimated costs for each business ranged from $37,000 up to $178,000. Afterward, the PSD would own and maintain the pumping stations.
Coast said the PSD plans to cover the price of installing the main sewage line, estimated to cost $1.3 million to $1.4 million. The PSD plans to borrow the money from the West Virginia Revolving Loan Fund. For the plan to be accepted, all the businesses need to be on board, Coast noted.
"The DEP will have to be involved in this plan and understand how it's going to proceed," Coast said.
PSD board member Robert Luchetti estimated the project could take three years to complete. But PSD Manager Kerry Marshall noted once the DEP sees the businesses have a real plan, they likely will "back off."
"We have a deadline of Oct. 31. They told us to 'come up with a concrete plan or you're done,'" said Nick Patel, owner of Comfort Inn & Suites, 675 Fort Henry Road, of the DEP.
Luchetti noted the DEP also has been fining the PSD for its outdated sewage treatment plant.
"Hopefully, if all of us are in agreement or enough of us are in agreement to get this plan together, then we as individuals and as a group can go to the DEP and say, 'Look this is what we're doing. ... Back off and let us alone for awhile,'" Luchetti said.
He noted the PSD plans to send the DEP a letter immediately to let officials know a meeting was held with business owners. Luchetti asked business owners to inform the PSD in writing, as soon as possible, if they want to be a part of the extension plan.
Luchetti noted the current plan does include existing residential properties, but homeowners likely could tap into the line in the future.