Proposed Weston Bond Ordinance to mitigate future regulation costs

Weston officials are considering enacting a bond ordinance to help them get ahead of sewer upgrades.
The ordinance was read by title only at the meeting, and must be read three times before it can be officially passed. Even then, it is not final until a supplemental resolution is passed with the exact project cost. The estimated project cost is $13.75 million. Bids are set to open in September.
Subsequent readings will be held at the Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 meetings. There must also be a public hearing, which is slated to take place at the Nov. 5 council meeting.
Dee Evans with the Weston Sanitary Board cautioned that products claiming to be flushable wipes are in fact, not actually flushable. Instead, they can cost thousands in damages combined with other non-flushable items that make their way into the sewage system.
“It’s amazing the things that make it down the pumps,” Evans said, noting they have found not only the unflushable flushable wipes, but plastic bottles and even men’s long underwear.
She said it costs about $10,000 to fix/replace a pump, which can cause the cost of running the pump to increase and sewage rates to go up. Evans said she isn’t a proponent of having to raise prices on customers.
Evans also said she wants to keep ahead of stormwater collection and eventually, Weston’s system will need upgrades to separate storm and water systems. As new projects are updated or repaired, the systems are already seeing separation, she said.
However, she anticipates that Weston will eventually be classified under the same mandates that areas like Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg already are, which requires them to have separate storm and sewage systems.
Evans said she wants to get ahead of the game with a study, which will have to be designed by a qualified engineer, to begin looking at these upgrades and identify the major areas and minor areas and begin preemptively budgeting for those projects.
“When it rains, it goes into the streets,” Evans said, adding that it is caused by an inefficient stormwater system that gets backed up.
Public Works Director Jacob Culver said three streets were recently paved and others are in the books for upcoming work in the spring. He said Broad Street from Depot Street to Maple/Peggy, and Brook/Bland Streets are planned for paving in the spring.
Many other roads have been identified as needing repairs, but Culver said they have to prioritize projects to get them done. Councilman Justin Roy noted that Court Street needs attention and Culver pointed out that it has issues with water drainage, as water collects on the blacktop. Culver said the water buildup could keep the street in disrepair. Councilman Dr. John Wyllie said High Street is another one in need of attention, but Culver said it should be finished by winter.
Building Inspector Bryan Reed said that one dilapidated property was sold on the steps of the Lewis County Courthouse, and the new owners have plans to renovate it. He said another property, which is believed to be a fire hazard due to abandoned cars, has been called to the attention of the state fire marshal.

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