Middlebourne seeks to repair water system
Middlebourne residents have a new representative on City Council following a meeting last week.
Recently, due to health issues, a council position became available. Upon learning of the opening, Bill Jenkins petitioned for the position. Mayor Charlie Delauder brought it to council, who approved the appointment.
During the April 21 council meeting, Jenkins was sworn in to the position.
Also last week, it was noted that a $500,000 grant request was recently sent in to the United States department of Agriculture.
If approved, the money will go toward the water project in Middlebourne. The total cost of the project is $3,020,000. The remainder of the cost will be through a 40 year loan at an interest rate of 3.25 percent.
However, it may be lower based on Middlebourne’s economic status. Because of the cost of the loan, there will be an increase in the local water bill of $12.59 per 4000 gallons of usage per month.
The city’s registration for grants from the federal government has been updated, as the town is required to have the registration completed. The state was declared a Federal Disaster Area according to Delauder. The declaration was declared after a recent winter storm and flooding from March 7 through March 9.
A waterline break on Sellers Road was turned into the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for help with the funding of repairs.
Also at the meeting, Delauder said he is currently exploring other possibilities for health insurance. Delauder stated that the current policy runs $12,000 per month for a total of four employees.
“We can’t afford this for very long,” Delauder said.
There was a complaint of a sewage backup issue at a residence on Dodd Street. According to Delauder, a backflow preventer was installed at the location a few years ago. The backflow preventer acts as a fail safe, preventing sewage from flowing back into the home. Since the property owner removed this fail safe, it flooded the renters bathroom with sewage. The town is not liable for any damages since the owner removed the backflow preventer.
At the end of March, Delauder attended floodplain training in Harper’s Ferry which was followed by an exam for certification as a floodplain manager. Delauder passed the exam and is now a certified floodplain manager.
On March 16, Delauder traveled to Kenova to obtain an additional police car that was donated to Middlebourne. When it was donated, Middlebourne installed a new engine because of the fact that it had a bad engine. Upon installment, Mayor Delauder went to retrieve it. On the way back to Middlebourne, it started to overheat which was speculated to be a water pump. Delauder took it back to Kenova who agreed to repair it and deliver it once it is completed.
On April 9, Delauder signed a proclamation for the foster grandparent program. Foster grandparents are categorized as role models, mentors and friends to children with exceptional needs. The programs provides a way for volunteers over the age of 55 to stay active by helping children and youth within their communities. Volunteers serve anywhere from 15 to 40 hours per week in various location which include schools, hospitals, juvenile correctional institutions, day care facilities or head start centers. They receive orientation, training, insurance and meals while on duty.
Delauder stated that once the hot mix plants are in full operation, street repairs will begin.
“This winter has been especially hard on our streets,” stated Delauder.