Parkersburg Utility Board OKs Marrtown sewer study

Photo by Evan Bevins Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett discusses an agenda item during Wednesday’s Parkersburg Utility Board meeting.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Utility Board unanimously approved Wednesday an engineering agreement to provide preliminary cost estimates for a sewer extension in the Marrtown area.

More than 90 customers could potentially be added in the area just west of U.S. 50, in the vicinity of Marrtown Road, PUB Manager Eric Bennett said. The utility already provides water service in that vicinity; the possibility of adding sewer was brought up due to recent complaints to the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department about septic systems there.

“We’re doing, basically, a feasibility study,” said Craig Richards, project engineer with Burgess & Niple, the PUB’s selected engineering firm.

Burgess & Niple will prepare a preliminary plan indicating where sewer lines, lift stations and force mains are needed to provide the service, as well as what structures would be served and an initial cost estimate. Based on that, the board and its staff could decide the scope of services they wished to provide, Richards said.

PUB Vice Chairman John Lutz asked if the volume of customers would generate enough revenue to recoup the cost of the extension over time. Bennett said he did not know, adding that other utilities have assessed a surcharge on customers who benefit from such projects. That is not necessarily the approach the PUB would take with this project, he said.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of five tablets and a widescreen monitor for about $5,400. The tablets are primarily for board members so that documents and meeting materials can be provided online instead of making paper copies. The monitor would allow the materials to be shown to others in attendance at the meeting, Bennett said.

Two of the board’s five members — Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce and Paul Hoblitzell — indicated they have tablets they can use. The new tablets would go to the three other board members and PUB attorney George Zivkovich, with the fifth being used to link to and control the monitor, Bennett said.