Philippi water plant project nearly done

In a report to Philippi City Council this week, City Manager Karen Weaver announced that the water plant project is nearly completed, and preparations to begin operation of the plant have begun.

Weaver said employees are currently being trained to use the equipment as they work on the start-up of the new plant. She said that once the weather clears and the plant is running there will be an open house.

“We’re real excited about the plant,” she said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “I think it’s going to be a great asset to the city and to the future of the city and the structure.”

Council members approved the 20th draw-down on the water treatment plant project in the amount of $285,104.50, as submitted by Region VII. The total is comprised of two payments. Shook Construction will receive $267,338.48 and Burgess & Niple will receive the remaining $17,766.02.

While the water plant project nears completion, the sewer plant project is just gearing up, Weaver said. The city is planning to open bids for the project in March.

A small portion of property owned by the Philippi building commission will be transferred to the City of Philippi. The property must be obtained by the city to continue with the wastewater treatment plant project. The building commission agreed to transfer the property over to the city.

An ordinance must be written for the city to obtain the property. Thursday’s City Council meeting was the first reading of the proposed ordinance.

In other news, council members approved the reappointment of Jim Daddysman and Marge Campbell to the Landmark Commission after their terms either expired or were nearing their expiration. Barbara Smith is another member who is on the Landmark Commission. The fourth seat on the commission is available. The city is seeking an attorney to fill the fourth slot.

John Prusa and Jeff Allen were reappointed to the Airport Authority. Because he is a member of City Council, Allen abstained from voting on the reappointment.

Weaver said the city is preparing for the annual audit and will soon have work sessions to discuss the general fund budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

A used 2002 Chevy digger derrick, priced at $42,000 and having 59,000 miles. will be purchased by the city after a request from the electric department. Weaver said that there are a number of projects at places like Alderson-Broaddus College and at county schools that use large transformers. If a transformer failed in the past, the city needed to contract with an outside source to move the transformer because of lacking the equipment to perform the task. With an increasing number of city projects, Weaver said she felt the city needed the truck.

“Our concern is that if a transformer would go out in the night or at a time when we couldn’t get someone to come and move that for us, we wouldn’t be able to restore power until we could arrange to do that,” Weaver said. “As we reviewed the needs for some of these things, we felt it would be prudent for us to look at a truck that could do that.”

Mechanics and electric department officials have already seen and reviewed the truck, reporting it to be in good working order, Weaver said.