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Our Shepherdstown project updates

By Staff | Feb 5, 2010

Mayor Jim Auxer

In an ideal world, I suppose, we could get up in the mornings and immediately fix everything that needed fixing. Shepherdstown’s a great place, but keeping it that way requires consistent fixing, constant maintenance. Since we have no magic wand and we’re a little on the shy side of millions of dollars in fixing money, we have to take it one project at a time. Here are a few upcoming ones:

CHURCH STREET PROJECT-This concerns the main water line on Church Street between German and High streets. Currently there is a two-inch line which simply is unable to supply enough water; the two-inch line will be replaced by an eight-inch line for at an approximate cost of $100,000.

LOWES PUMP STATION-Located on South King Street, this station pumps wastewater to our treatment plant before the water re-enters the Potomac River. The cost of rebuilding and upgrading this station is approximately $300,000; but, instead of rebuilding, we are eliminating. The pump station will be replaced by a gravity-fed sewer line running from South King to Washington Street. Shifting to the gravity-fed line accomplishes a number of things: it lowers the carbon footprint of running the pump station; it lowers the costs of our wastewater system operation by saving on pump maintenance; and the $370,000 (approximate) cost of the project – other than administrative costs – is tied to “Green” ARRA Stimulus money, which is a federal, no-repay loan.

SEWER PLANT-The sewer plant upgrade and design has been reviewed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and with a few minor changes, the Public Service Commission (PSC) will review it in the spring. Frank Welch, head of Shepherdstown Department of Public Works, estimates the request for construction bids will go out shortly after the PSC review, and with good fortune the project will be awarded by late this summer (2010). As I reported in December, the $8.6 million project will upgrade our wastewater treatment plant to meet the federal government’s Chesapeake Bay Standards.

RECYCLING GRANT-The town sought a $75,000 recycling grant and received $34,000. This grant is for street recycling containers and a new recycle truck. The larger recycle truck will reduce the number of trips made to the recycling center; and the street recycling containers will be placed at different locations throughout the town; this will offer the opportunity for everyone in town – resident or visitor – to participate in recycling. The town will have to add money to this project but the exact figure is unknown at this time.

BIKE/WALK PATH- This much-needed path will create a safer biking/walking passage from town to Morgan Grove Park, Colonial Hills, etc. The half-mile path will run on state-owned property on the west side of 480 South from Lowe Drive to the bypass. There will be a five-foot buffer between the road and the path, which will be eight-feet wide. The Jefferson County Commission matched the town contribution bringing the total matching funds to $76,000. An application for the remaining construction amount has been sent to state, which administers federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Projects.

Tough economic times require a common sense approach to government. We – all government entities – must come together for the common good. Remember, we’re all in this together.