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Plant upgrade to move forward

September 1, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The plan to construct a $31 million water treatment plant in Elkins and upgrade the distribution system is beginning to take shape.

Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley said the city is about two weeks away from filing for a certificate of need with the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

"The design work is all done," he said. "We have all the health department certificates."

Pingley said before filing for the certificate of need, the city needs to show it will have the proper rates in place to pay for the project.

"The water-rate increase to pay for the project is in the appeal process at the WVPSC," Pingley said. "They will come in and set the rates."

He said the commission will have to provide a ruling on the rates Nov. 26, and the rates will be suspended and won't go into effect until Dec. 25.

"We expected the appeal," Pingley said. "They (members of the WVPSC) have time to make their decision, and we had that time built into the project."

Since the city has changed funding sources and no longer will rely on stimulus money, the project is no longer under a deadline to have the project complete by 2015.

Pingley said he is hoping construction on the project can begin in the fall of 2015. The project has gone through several changes, and the most recent was to help meet WVPSC standards.

"We expect them to require us to put in booster stations for the public service districts and Bear Hunter Mountain," he added. "We went ahead and built them into the project, adding another $1.5 million."



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