Growing up in Elkins, you quickly learn of the fierce rivalry with neighboring Buckhannon. And the same holds true for those growing up in Buckhannon regarding Elkins. The rivalry is great for stirring up water cooler chats in the office prior the big football game.
Still, it was refreshing on Thursday to see county commissioners from both counties come together in an effort to bring a much-needed water line extension project that would be of a substantial benefit to those people who live on both sides of the county lines.
Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor pledged his support to work with Upshur County's Elkins Road Public Service District to bring water to the eastern portion of Upshur County and extend to help more than a dozen households in the Lamb Road area of Randolph County. An upstart coal mining operation would also greatly benefit from the extension project, and coal company leaders have given their support to the project. We hope the coal company can also throw some financial backing behind the project to help speed up grant funding and lower the estimated $80,000 cost per customer price tag.
While that amount would normally make Small Cities Block Grant officials run away from the project, the economic development aspect of the project could make it an attractive option for funding opportunities not normally available to most water projects.
The county commissioners, PSD leaders and the project engineers said they want to meet with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's economic development team to help bring this proposal to reality. We would urge that meeting to happen sooner than later as federal law mandates coal mining operations have a source of potable water and because those residents in that community have been without treated water for too long in these modern times.