Gilmore Running For First Ward
SISTERSVILLE – Bob Gilmore is running uncontested for a seat representing the first ward on City Council.
The city’s non-partisan election is slated for March. 24.
Gilmore, a longtime resident of Sistersville where he raised a family, said he attended school in town before getting a job at Ormet, where he retired after 30 years of service. He said several people have asked if he would serve on council, so he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
“I’ve been on the water board, so I wanted to see if I could get on council,” he said. “I look forward to serving on council.”
Gilmore has worked for City Hall for more than 25 years.
“I have worked at different jobs in the city and feel that experience would be a help on council,” he said.
Gilmore said he supports Mayor Bill Rice’s goal of moving the city away from drawing water from the Ohio River. Sistersville is among the last cities in the state to rely on the river for its water supply. City Hall favors connecting the city’s water system to the Tyler County Public Service District.
If the water board and council endorse the proposal, City Hall would need to borrow up to $3.5 million to connect to Tyler PSD and make some repairs to the city’s aging water system. If the city pursued a new water plant instead, rate hikes would be necessary to pay for the remaining $3.7 million balance needed to build a new water plant.
In order to provide water to Sistersville, Tyler PSD would have to drill an extra well. But if the city were to connect with Tyler PSD, it would have to shore up its water loss rate estimated to be between 30 percent and 50 percent. High water loss rates like this are reasonably common through small to medium sized water systems across the state. The state’s Public Service Commission’s (PSC) standards require that utilities’ “unaccounted for” lost water is no more than 15 percent of the total water pumped.
Among the changes the city is considering to potentially be more efficient and reduce water loss is acquiring radio-read water meters.
Gilmore said he supports the proposals to invest in the city’s infrastructure.
“I would like to see us get water from some place other than the Ohio River,” he said. “And I feel we should get radio-read meters for they would cut labor costs and improve efficiency. We need to have water lines replaced. And we need to keep upgrading our water and sewer plant.”