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St. C. Progressing On Water Issues

Photo by Robert A. DeFrank St. Clairsville Council President Jim Velas, left, speaks to Mayor Kathryn Thalman Tuesday, while Law Director Elizabeth Glick observes. The city is looking forward to projess on water projects.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — City residents soon will see more movement on major water projects, Safety and Service Director Jeremy Greenwood told council Tuesday.

Mayor Kathryn Thalman said a vault for a pump for the east end water connection with Belmont County has arrived. This is part of the ongoing plan to purchase water from Belmont County to replace the aging water treatment plant, in compliance with mandates from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Installation is expected to begin this week.

Greenwood also reported efforts will move forward to install a new permanent waterline from the water treatment plant to the city beneath Interstate 70.

“The I-70 project’s going to start soon,” he said. “The waterline underneath. … We don’t have a date, but it’s going to be soon. That was the whole crux, was to wait until after the holidays and then start getting materials lined up.”

During the summer, city employees discovered the main line from the water treatment plant was leaking.

The aged line was in poor condition and its replacement quickly became a top priority. Since August, the city has been fed water through a temporary waterline located on top of Reservoir Road where it crosses I-70.

He said the first step is determining whether the original casing beneath the highway can be used in order to spare the expense of drilling a new one.

“The same thing as we would do if it was summertime. Just start tearing it up and see what we’ve got,” Greenwood said.

“We’ve got to check the culvert and see if we’re going to use it, but we have to do that. We have to close down one of the lanes on the interstate and then check it out and see. The whole thing is going to take about three months.”

If the current casing is usable, the city could save $200,000-$500,000.

Greenwood said workers will know if the old casing is usable in about a month. Meanwhile, meetings with the OEPA will continue.

Meanwhile, there have been no problems with the temporary waterline, although Greenwood had hoped to make the change to a permanent one before winter.

“The weather’s been decent enough. It’s not freezing, we’re not having any issues with anything. I know there’s been a couple people complaining about the bridge being down to one lane, but that’s out of our control. We had to get it across there somehow,” he said.

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