Council Discusses Dispersement of Water
By MADDIA special meeting was held by Paden City Council in order to address matters such as a project for the Park and Pool, the maintenance garage, an ordinance on camping trailers, and updates on the water issues discussed at the regular meeting earlier that week.
The first order of business covered by council was an update on the water situation.
Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser told council that an individual gathered donations from various stores and is bringing in 60 skids of bottled water. While the city was unsure on a specific date to disperse the aforementioned water, it was decided that those with one to three individuals in their family will receive one case of water and one gallon jug of water. Those with four to eight members in a household will receive two cases of water and two one gallon jugs of water. Those wishing to receive this water will be required to prove their residency in Paden City and bring along a water bill.
Hochstrasser also said that he has been in communication with the state Emergency Management as well as Homeland Security and had looked into a few ways to obtain clean drinking water for residents. The mayor mentioned that Rural Water has equipment that allows one to throw it into the river and it will purify the water. However, he said that there isn’t a way for them to use this equipment through their system. Hochstrasser also looked into tying into another water line on the north end of town, however this also seemed to not be feasible for the city.
Hochstrasser told council that he believes the best course of action is going to be using bottled water and possibly tankers. It was suggested that they use tankers to haul water, which would cost $700 for two of them. This would require a contract driver to take them and refill them. The city would also need to find a place to refill. Councilman Steve Kastigar told the mayor that he would get in contact with an individual from City of New Martinsville Water Works on this subject.
It was also relayed to council by Hochstrasser that he had checked with Rural Water and was told that they’d only be able to supply the city with 100,000 gallons of water.
As the city reportedly goes through 300,00 to 400,000 gallons a day, he said that this would “not even be a drop in the bucket.”
Discussion was then held on the installation of the air stripper, which is due to start a week ahead of the scheduled February 24 start date. Hochstrasser reported that this will take around 120 days until full completion of the project before the stripper unit will be up and running.
It was also said by Hochstrasser that they switched to the number four well. He explained that they had previously been switching wells in an effort to keep the pollution down. This switch is reportedly a test to see if this effort is paying off or if the wells are simply getting more polluted.
He reiterated his stance that he touched on at the regular meeting, saying that the only thing they are currently concentrating on is solving the water issue and eradicating as much of the PCE as possible. Once this task has been completed, Hochstrasser said they will get the EPA “back on track.” He spoke on sending them around town to where all the laundromats in town were housed as well as the City Motors and have them tests wells in these areas.
Hochstrasser also mentioned that a future plan he is currently looking into is drilling a well on the north or south end of the city in an effort to get out of the current aquifer, and to build a new one. Testing would have to be conducted to confirm that there’s no contaminants in this water. However, he admitted that this project would be costly.
Paden City mayor then reminded all in attendance that they have a plan moving forward with the upcoming five million dollar project where they are getting rid of the water lines, putting in two new water tanks, and destroying the old tanks.
The mayor stressed that his main priority continues to be to obtain clean water. “The other stuff is secondary because we have to get this clean water.”
Following this, Hochstrasser announced that they will begin testing water every month. He said that six samples had been sent to a lab in Bridgeport on February 3. The mayor explained that the city is now using a different lab as they weren’t satisfied that they were getting their lab reports back in a timely manner. He reported that he recently received an envelope from the previous lab that held two separate readings. On one sheet, it showed the readings of PCE from July to September, which was 7 ppb. In the same envelope was the information for the readings from November to December.
“There’s four months right there that didn’t have any readings, so it went from 7 to 13.” Hochstrasser complained, saying that if they had timely readings they could have known sooner.
The six samples taken Monday were sent to the new lab in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Hochstrasser said that the citizens will be informed of the readings as soon as they know of them. Hochstrasser did clarify the amount of time they have to announce the readings. While at the regular meeting earlier in the week it was said that the state says residents should be informed within 30 minutes, Hochstrasser informed council the state mandates are actually 30 days, according to the report they provide him with.
The city is reportedly required by the state to have two public notifications, and council discussed the best means to notify residents as sending letters is not cost effective. Possible avenues included using the Emergency Manager phone calls as announcements, and posting a letter on the Development Authority and the Fire Hall’s board. However, it was later decided to post the monthly reading on the water bill mailed to residents, as well as posting them on the board.
On a final note regarding the water updates, Hochstrasser said that he is currently working on a proclamation.
In other business, it was said that the students from Paden City High School have entered a competition with several other schools that requires them to complete a project that will help the community, with the winners receiving a cash prize. It was reported that the students have planned a project that will upgrade the park and trail, and make these areas more enjoyable for people.
Hochstrasser praised the students for their reportedly great ideas, and said that the students have “really stepped up.” Council member Aunnia Brady conveyed that it was her belief that this was a wonderful idea as it gets the students involved in the community. A motion was made and quickly carried in favor of allowing the students to move forward with the project.
Approval was also needed for the purchase of a new garage door for the maintenance building. It was said that the door on the south side was “falling apart.” The quote for the door was $5,384.22, and was described as a need. A motion was made in favor of purchasing the door, and it was carried.
The last order of business covered was the first reading of the ordinance prohibiting the use of a camper, motor home, or recreational vehicle as a dwelling anywhere in the city other than the park. A motion was made to approve this. However, it was explained that two more readings are needed before the ordinance can be approved.
The meeting was then adjourned.