Plant may produce water by Nov.

ELKINS — Officials hope to have the city’s new water treatment plant producing water by November.

Operations Manager Bob Pingley said construction of the plant and the water line work is proceeding according to schedule, noting that the 16th regular monthly planning meeting for the project took place Thursday.

“I can’t believe we’re six months in,” Pingley said during Thursday’s Elkins City Council meeting.

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place in May 2016 for the water systems improvements, the biggest public works project in Elkins and Randolph County history.

The $37 million project involves the replacement of water lines in several areas of the city, the installation of a raw water line and the construction of the new plant.

It is being funded by the West Virginia Water Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service.

“We’re shooting for this fall, probably in the month of

November, to begin producing water,” Pingley said in the meeting.

Once completed, the project will provide a safe and reliable source of water to approximately 3,930 households and businesses in the city and to its resale customers, including the Midland and Leadsville Public Service Districts, officials said.

In other city business:

• New Elkins Police Chief Glenn Galloway offered statistics on his department’s work load this summer during Thursday’s City Council meeting.

Since July 1, the department has responded to 78 dispatch calls that became criminal investigations, Galloway said. That total led to 54 arrests, and the identification of eight suspects and 82 alleged victims.

Total dispatch calls during that time period amounted to more than 500.

Galloway said his department has totalled 54 Group A offenses since July 1, including 17 larcenies, 13 assaults, 13 burglaries, nine drug offenses, seven vandalisms, one motor vehicle theft, one fraud and one forgery.

There were 55 Group B offenses, all of them misdemeanors, during the same time period, he reported.

Galloway also praised the work of Patrolman A.M. Wyshyvanuk, whose investigations led to two arrests this week.

First, Wyshyvanuk was the lead investigator in the case of Michael Lynn Biller, 51, of Elkins, who is charged with one felony count of distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter. He is incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

Later in the week, a Randolph Technical Center teacher was arrested on Wednesday, accused of having inappropriate relationships with several of his students.

Albert Robert Chewning, 37, of Elkins, is charged with one felony count of soliciting a minor via computer and two felony counts of distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter. He is incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

Galloway said Wyshyvanuk “spent a couple months” investigating the Chewning case. The patrolman was originally called to the school about a single alleged victim. Through interviews and police work, Wyshyvanuk learned about other alleged victims.

“After the arrest was made, he got a couple more calls on some more alleged victims,” Galloway said. “He did a lot of work on this.”