PSD hires Potesta for geotechnical work
Pocahontas County native Dave Sharp visited home twice recently and brought home the bacon for his employer both times.
The geotechnical engineer is branch manager for Potesta and Associates, Inc.'s Morgantown office. The WVU graduate, who grew up on Williams River, made a successful pitch to the Town of Marlinton last week for design work on the town's stormwater and sewage drainage systems.
On Monday night, Sharp got more work for his company when he attended a special meeting of the Pocahontas County Public Service District (PSD). The PSD hired Potesta to examine soil conditions at the Snowshoe Village sewage treatment plant reservoirs and equalization tank to locate leaks and design adequate stormwater drainage.
Potesta's bid was not the lowest, but the Charleston firm was the only engineer, out of three, that proposed drilling soil bores to determine soil conditions. The PSD board ultimately decided the soil bores were required for an adequate assessment and voted 3-0 to hire Potesta, at a contract price of $21,350.
Sharp said the firm would complete seven borings to either 35 feet or bedrock, whichever came first. Piezometers will be installed in the holes to determine water flow and the core samples will be inspected to determine soil composition. The company will conduct a stability analysis of the embankments at both the treatment pond and the polishing pond.
Sharp said the company could have a tracked drill rig on site by November 8 and that it would take two days to dig the seven bore samples.
The PSD board also voted 2-0 to assign recently-retained attorney William Turner as the lead attorney to defend the PSD in a civil suit filed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP is seeking to impose fines as much as $25,000 per day for "ongoing and continuing" violations of the utility's water discharge permit. Board member Amon Tracey abstained.
The board voted 2-0 to assign the board's general counsel, Chris Negley, to defend it in a legal action at the Public Service Commission (PSC). Snowshoe Mountain, Inc., and five Slatyfork-area landowners filed the action, requesting a PSC order that the PSD complete a planned regional sewage treatment plant, or in the alternative, appointment of a receiver to complete the project for the PSD.
A status conference for the PSC legal action is scheduled for November 22 in Charleston.
During a public comment period, Russell Holt, of Linwood, read a public statement that started, "I came tonight to listen to more lies and deception, more bloviating, sophistry and gibberish from this PSD. Who will the PSD demagogues Shipley and Litsey favor? Who will be discriminated against?
Who are the chosen ones to receive sewer service form a public utility?"
Holt supports a plan to build a 1.5 million gallon per day sewage plant on Snowshoe Drive. Board members David Litsey and Tom Shipley have stated support for consideration of smaller alternatives.