Valley Bend work ongoing

MILL CREEK – The Huttonsville Public Service District Board of Directors said Thursday they are continuing to work on several drains throughout the Valley Bend area.

Pat Shreve, the PSD’s chief waste water operator, answered the board’s questions on the matter during his report Thursday.

“Do you think we will have to locate those drains to see how many had been cut in 2003?” member Gary Morgan asked.

Shreve said he has already been able to locate some of the drains throughout the Valley Bend area and has been working with residents to dig them up.

The issue, board chair Steve Wamsley said, wasn’t the capability to get the work done, but rather securing the funding for the project.

“We’ll just have to find funding as it becomes available,” Wamsley said. “That’s just what we’re going to have to do at this point.”

Shreve mentioned another project in Valley Bend that involves a drain that has been plugged up by Kathy’s Beauty Shop. Board members said if the owners are willing to help with the work, they would be more than happy to clear out the drain for them.

Board members also discussed finding a date to meet with attorneys representing Andy Wamsley, a Valley Bend resident, for legal negotiations.

The dispute stems from damage to Wamsley’s property and the death of some of his livestock, which he claims was a result of exposure to raw sewage. Wamsley claims the sewage drained onto his property because of a backed-up pump that the Huttonsville PSD failed to effectively maintain.

Board members could not settle on a date at Thursday’s meeting, due to board member Willy Saucerman’s absence from the meeting. The meeting must be agreed upon by all board members, General Manager Louise MacAtee said.

Wamsley raised his concerns to the Huttonsville PSD in September, asking for a solution to the problem. He wrote in a letter to the PSD that after the area received two rains and about 4 to 5 inches of water, he noticed sewage was overflowing along with surface water from the pump on his property.

In addition to Wamsley’s complaints, more than 50 residents from the Valley Bend and Dailey area attended a public meeting on March 11 at the Dailey Fire Hall, expressing their concerns regarding the contamination of waste water going through a proposed sanitary sewer overflow system. On March 21, the Huttonsville PSD claimed the system will drain much of the surface waste water left over from excessive rains, chlorinate the water and then deposit it in the river. PSD officials said the waste water would contain contamination levels consistent with that of rain water.

The next public meeting of the Huttonsville PSD is scheduled for May 8.