By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Fairview is getting ready to add the first phase of new customers to its water system.
During its meeting on Monday, the town council voted to put residents who live from the water plant up to and including the Marion County Mine, formerly Loveridge Mine, on line as soon as possible to secure enough monies to make Fairview’s loan payments.
This is part of the town’s $4 million water extension project, which has been in the works for about seven years now and has gone through many changes during that time. The aim is to supply water to about 116 customers on the outskirts of town who have well water that is somewhat contaminated, said Fairview Mayor Arley Simmons.
“It’s been a long process,” said Heather Tuttle, recorder for the town of Fairview. “It’s very costly. It’s a big project. The funding is a problem.”
She explained that Fairview has taken on a $1.2 million loan for the water project and has received grants to cover the remainder of the cost. With unexpected circumstances and holdups in the project, the town is still trying to find resources to be able to pay for it.
The project has been a challenge, but Fairview wants to serve its customers, Heather said.
Councilman Ted Tuttle said the project was originally supposed to be finished in February 2011, and then the completion date was later estimated for the summer of 2013. However, several issues came up related to installing the substations and water line, moving the tank, drilling a well and other work, which led to more delays.
“Everything was going wrong,” he said.
Simmons said one problem was that the water pipe was laid before an alternate source of water was available, which was like putting “the cart before the horse.” Fairview needs to drill another well that would supply a minimum of 45 gallons per minute to the new customers.
“The project’s done, but we will not be able to put everybody on at one time,” he said. “We’ll have to do it in stages.”
In addition to getting the additional water source, a few other minor pieces to the project remain, such as installing three water meters.
“Everything’s supposed to be on line the last of June,” Simmons said. “The new customers should realize once this goes in that they’re going to have more pressure than what they’re used to, and their systems should be checked out and made adequate to handle it.”
Fairview has been working with Woolpert Engineering and Pro Contracting Inc. on the water extension project.
In other news:
• The town is in the process of setting up some new computers, which will include software that is needed for the water upgrades. One computer is already in place, and two more will be added.
• Fairview is looking into getting a new plow and cinder truck to replace its current vehicle, which is not expected to last much longer.
• The town hall will need a new furnace soon, and council members mentioned the possibility of also looking into getting a heat pump.
• Fairview is planning to apply for the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Community Grant Program and is considering possibilities for projects that could benefit from funding.
Email Jessica Borders at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.