ROWLESBURG – Rowlesburg City Council spoke briefly about the stimulus money coming from the US government and what they can do with it.
Rowlesburg is set to receive $ 240,000. Half of the funding should take place this year, the second half in 2022.
“We really don’t have a lot of influence because we can only spend it on three things,” said City Councilor Eric Baumgardner. “Most, if not everything, goes into the wastewater project.”
Baumgardner meant that economic stimulus funds were earmarked for sewers, water and broadband. However, since then the government has added more categories for which the funds could be used.
– Support the public health response by funding “COVID-19 aids, medical expenses, behavioral medicine, and certain public health and safety personnel”.
– Replace lost public sector revenue: “Use funds to provide government services to the extent that revenue has declined due to the pandemic.”
– Combat negative economic impacts by responding “to economic damage to workers, families, small businesses, affected industries and the public sector”.
– Bonus payment for key workers, also known as hero pay, by offering “additional support to those who have and will bear the greater health risks because of their service to critical infrastructure sectors”.
The sewer project is still in the design phase at Thrasher Engineering in Bridgeport.
Preston County’s Economic Development Agency is the administrator of the project. EDA Executive Director Robbie Baylor said there are still many unknowns about the project.
“Part of the discussion is how much money we can get from the sellers,” said Baylor. “We’ve seen things come out of the West Virginia Public Service District in terms of projects, which really makes us look at the cost of this project.”
Baylor said the PSC and the Infrastructure Council have tackled some projects and cut funding because construction costs seem out of proportion or the size of a rate increase is insufficient.
“We have to be very careful how it looks,” said Baylor.
One of these points is whether you should modify the existing lagoon system in Manheim or build a new sewage system.
“If we build a new plant, it will be expensive,” said Baylor.
One question she has tried to answer, but has failed, is if the churches and they use the stimulus money as a counterpart, it will reduce the amount of funding if the sellers reduce the amount of money the church can receive.
“If that happens, there is no benefit,” said Baylor.
Kylie Radcliffe, a project engineer at Thrasher Engineering, said she has no set date for completing the design phase.
“Much depends on the availability of funding,” said Radcliffe. “We get everything coordinated and check all possible sources of funding.”
She said it was definitely a multi-phase project as nothing had been done to the system since the 1985 flood.
“We have three top priorities that we will work on first,” said Radcliffe. “The first is the parking area where we will probably want to replace these pipe sections.”
The second priority would be the expansion of the pumping stations, the third the expansion of the lagoon system or, if necessary, the construction of a sewerage system.
In other matters, the Rowlesburg Council passed a new parking ordinance on Monday after second reading.
Baumgardner said the regulation needs to be updated.
“It hasn’t been updated since the 1980s and there were a few things to add,” said Baumgardner. “One of the changes is that the board members of the parking commission have no term limits.”
He also said park board members didn’t have to live much in Rowlesburg town, but one person would need a 26425 zip code.
Another change is that exotic pets are not allowed in the park.
“We allow dogs, but they have to be leashed and then cleaned,” said Baumgardner.