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Middlebourne Council addresses water concerns

By Staff | Feb 13, 2014

The Middlebourne Public Library approached Middlebourne Council Monday night to request funding for the next fiscal year.

Librarian Roseanne Eastham stated that last year the library commission withheld $171 due to the inability to match grant funds with tax-based funding from the Board of Education, the county, and the town. Eastham stated that although $171 might not seem like much, it would actually equal out to roughly the cost of 17 books. “If we continue to lose our funding, then we will continue to lose state funding also,” Eastham stated.

Eastham spoke of the benefits the library offers to the town, including the ability to take online classes. “Of course, with Ormet being gone, we are currently helping people search for jobs and build resumes,” she stated.

She added that craft night is held five times a month for elementary school students, as well as story hours for younger-aged children. Also, approximately 30 individuals meet a month for a book discussion, and quilting class for beginners will start in the spring, as well as Mommy and Me programs and a book club for adults.

Carol Ann Kucharski of the Middlebourne Public Library Board also attended the meeting to show her support for the community asset.

Mayor Charlie Delauder stated that the town would be working on the budget March 11 and would take the library’s request into consideration at that time.

In his report, Delauder stated that the effort to remove mud in the water treatment plant is ongoing. His report read that the “water and sewer board met with Randy Watson from Thrasher Engineering to discuss the water project.” Delauder’s report stated that the anticipated cost of the project would be $2.1 million and this would include drilling water wells to serve the needs of the town, installation of another water storage tank, addition of several fire hydrants, improvement of several water lines in town, and a new building to house the water and sewer department. Delauder stated that these plans are all preliminary and would move to a more definite figure in the future.

Delauder did make mention of the opinion piece in the Charleston Gazette that was recently submitted by Wetzel County resident Bill Hughes, regarding an incident that had occurred on Jan. 2 at a Marcellus Shale gas well pad located on Big Run in Tyler County.

“No one told us until after six days that the water was contaminated . . . The drilling company said everything in that tank was contained inside the dike, but there are pictures out there that show it wasn’t . . . The evening after the tank blew we had an inch of rain.”

Delauder stated that the town did a baseline water sample and “everything came back good.” Council member Susan Pelikan noted that the sample was taken six days after the fact though, which Delauder agreed. “Hopefully if something happens, we will have that baseline to look at and say, ‘You are polluting our water, which is another reason to get away from getting water out of the creek.” Delauder further noted that the reporting method for incidents such as the one that occurred at the Lisby Pad is supposed to be that the company is to report to the DEP, which is supposed to contact the town.

Under new business, the town approved to lease a new copying machine from Business Machines Services in New Martinsville. The cost will be roughly $80 per month for 36 months.

Furthermore, the town agreed to replace two of the town’s older computers that contain Windows XP. Delauder reported that after April 1, Windows XP would no longer be serviced by Microsoft. “If the computers are hooked to the internet after that date and time, it is up to you to make sure you don’t get anything on it.” Eight hundred dollars for the expenditure came from the water and sewer department, while $450 came from the town’s general funds.

The town also agreed to switch to Tom’s Computer Repair Service, located in Alma, for all their computer maintenance needs. Delauder noted that the previous company the town has been using is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and using Tom’s Computer Repair Service would save the cost that the town has to pay for the old company’s travel time. The new computer repair service will cost the town $50 an hour, whereas the company from Cincinnati cost the town $100 an hour.

Finally, the town is using Richard’s Handyman Electric Service, located in Alma, to install new LED lights under each of the town’s two entrance signs. Delauder noted the lights have a life-span of approximately 100,000 hours. The cost of these two lights is approximately $2,000.

Those present at Monday night’s meeting included Treasurer Tena Lemasters, Mayor Charlie Delauder, and Council members Susan Pelikan, Doug Doak, and Dave Myers.