PSD discusses options for sewage hauling
When the Pocahontas County Public Service District took over the Snowshoe sewer system, it took over the collection system and its components, including the Hawthorne Loop and the sewage holding tank there, according to PSD secretary David Litsey. The board also continued the practice of hauling sewage from the collection tanks at three restaurants for Snowshoe; Arbuckle's, the Sugar Shack, and the Boat House.
"Because we don't own the holding tank we aren't technically allowed to haul away the sewage without permission from the Public Service Commission," Litsey explained. "In the transfer agreement they could have given us those holding tanks but they didn't. So now we're in the situation of having to get a contract. What happens if our truck breaks down and we have to get somebody else's truck to do it? If our truck broke down for a week, we could be in deep financial trouble. One of the things I was hoping we could do is get some insight from somebody who is in the business of doing that."
Jacob Meck spoke to the board about the services he may be able to provide.
"We are located in Green Bank, we're directly across from Sheets' garage and we are the same as Allegheny Disposal and Jacob S. Meck Construction, so we do several things out of that location," said Meck. "One of them is the septic pumping. They could call me right now and I can have a truck over there in an hour and fifteen minutes. The first order of business would be for you to apply and see if you could get a permit to accept. Once that happened we would have it added on to our permit."
Meck also offered additional short-term storage options if needed.
"We do currently have 54,000 gallons of permitted storage," said Meck. "We'll get a truck on the road and instead of hauling it to a treatment plant, shuttle that back into Green Bank and put that in our permitted storage."
PSD plant operator Lloyd Coleman talked to the board about compensation for additional employee certifications.
"We've got an operator that advanced through certification. He has really progressed from one operator level to another, we probably need to compensate him for that. It's basically a two dollar an hour raise," recommended Coleman. "I think we've got the need for at least another class II, and I think the operator that we're talking about has the most potential to get there."
PSD board president Tom Shipley said he wanted to conduct a performance review.
"I'm unfamiliar with a procedure to give someone a pay increase without a review of some sort," said Shipley.
Litsey suggested a review of the entire compensation system during the transfer to the proposed plants.
"In order to meet our organizational needs of having a class II operator available when the new plants arrive on the scene, it's in our advantage to get him in officially as a class I operator, so that his hours then will start counting towards the class II certification," said Litsey.
Coleman justified an invoice from vendor C.I. Thornburg, to the board. Coleman said one of the computers crashed after a lightning strike and the majority of the bill was for travel costs.
"They come out of Huntington. There were two days he had to come out to get the system back up," said Coleman. "They charge the same thing for travel as if they were working on it. I talked to their sales rep about that, I'm not sure that's a good way to do it, but it's their policy right now."
Litsey suggested it might be time for the board to look into other vendors.
"The fact that we're paying eight hours for travel time, for crying out loud we can get someone from out of Roanoke, they have computers in Roanoke too," said Litsey. "Maybe we need to look for another provider."
After the board discussed the bill, Shipley requested clear, itemized bills in the future.
"What I would like to ask our managers, at sewer and water, is to not request, but instruct the purveyors to, when they submit a bill, that it be itemized, to tell us and inform the board, who has to approve these things, what in the world it is they did," said Shipley. "We got another bill last month that had service back two or three years and it just had some hours and a couple of words on it. I just find that difficult, as someone who is supposed to look over these things, to understand what's been done. I know you all are on top of it and you're happy with the work they've done, but this is a matter of review."