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Wood County Commission discusses Pond Creek waterline

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission said it would needs over $5 million to finish a waterline project in the Pond Creek area that would serve over 80 customers.

County officials have been looking at options to try to get waterlines extended to those people. Earlier this year the commission met with representatives with Lubeck Public Service District and Mineral Wells PSD to see if something could be done.

Resident Roger Rawson had gathered a petition of people who wanted water. He has been seeking help on the project for a number of years.

Commission President Blair Couch said he was told by different officials that $6 million for around 80 customers was not a good cost ratio

“I was told there would not be a lot of help available,” he said.

He told some of West Virginia’s federal lawmakers who were interested in the project that the county was willing to help, with a 10 percent match of around $500,000-$600,000, but it would not be able to fund the entire project.

Couch said there could be federal money available through the American Recovery Act funds, but the county has gotten numerous requests for the recovery money it received on a variety of projects and he was not sure what would be available.

The commission is still wanting many of the local PSDs to consolidate to save money and cut expenses on different projects as well as concentrate efforts which could benefit projects like waterline extensions.

Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer said many of the remaining areas without water are now considered high-dollar extension and are in more rural areas.

In other business, Couch informed the commission that dredging work on the lake at Mountwood Park would begin on July 5 and is expected to take a month to complete.

The mud and debris taken out of the lake will be taken up to where the park’s old softball fields were and dumped there at the top of that hill, he said.

The commission also unanimously approved an application for the Prosecuting Attorney on the extradition of Timothy M. Simpson from the State of Ohio.

Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said this was an application they had sent in before, but it was missing a certain page so they ended up having to resubmit it again.

“It is a second go around,” he said.

The commission discussed the progress on the cleanup of a property at 1442 Southern Highway in Mineral Wells.

Wood County Compliance Officer Sarah Robinson said she had received calls on the property back in November due to trash, debris and junk automobiles

The property owner, James Hendershot, appeared before the commission in March and said he had been working on the property cleaning things up as time has allowed and has made progress in addressing the complaints. He offered pictures and receipts to show what he has done. The commission gave him an additional 30 days to continue working and officials will reassess where he is at then.

Hendershot appeared again Monday and Robinson said he has made progress and is now more in line with local laws regarding debris.

Officials commended Hendershot on the work he had done.

Officials talked about the county’s COVID standings.

Couch said there are currently 88 active cases in Wood County (as of Monday).

“We have had zero deaths in Wood County over the last seven days,” he said.

Over the last two years, since the pandemic began, there have been 351 Wood County residents who have died from COVID, he said, adding many of the deaths occurred with people age 41-50 and people over 71 with other deaths occurring across the age groups of 31-40 and 51-60.

Commissioner Jimmy Colombo said there are people who are still adhering to mask wearing while others are just now venturing out of their homes more often after two years.

Couch said many people who are wearing masks now are either positive and protecting themselves and others or they could be susceptible to the virus and it could have a severe impact on them.

Statewide there have been 7,056 deaths since the pandemic started, Couch said, adding that was more people than are in some of the local small towns and rural counties..

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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