Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


April 1, 2010

Regional cooperation: Tazewell, McDowell making progress


A unique two-state water project in the tiny community of Horsepen is another encouraging example of regional cooperation between Virginia and West Virginia. The Tazewell County Public Service Authority is hoping to open bids next month on the Horsepen Water Project. The PSA began advertising bids for the project earlier this week in conjunction with the McDowell County Public Service District. The small community is located at the state line of Virginia and West Virginia. The project was originally advertised for bids several months ago, but the bids came in over estimates, Tazewell County Administrator Jim Spencer said. At the time, contractors in the region already had a lot of work, according to Spencer. He is hoping for a better response this go around particularly given the urgent need for water in the community. “We would like to expedite all of that and get started as quickly as possible because those folks are desperate for water,” Spencer said Tuesday. When completed, the project will serve 68 families in Tazewell County and another 14 families in McDowell County. It’s not the first time the Tazewell County PSA and the McDowell County PSD have partnered together. Their first regional project was in the Bishop community followed by a second state-line project in the neighboring community of Amonate. Horsepen will be the third border project between the Tazewell PSA and the McDowell PSD. According to Spencer, the project wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of Virginia and West Virginia authorities. The PSA has been awarded $1,262,174 in grant funding from the Virginia Abandoned Mine Land fund for the project, and the West Virginia AML is providing another $364,776. The bids on the project are scheduled to be opened on April 28. The water project involves the construction of 34,200 linear feet of six-inch water lines in Tazewell County, and another 8,200 feet of six-inch lines in McDowell County. Construction is expected to start later this spring. The project will take between nine to 12 months to complete. Although relatively small in scope, the project is another giant example of what can be accomplished when officials in southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia work together. We believe Bishop, Amonate and Horsepen are excellent examples of how families across our region can benefit when their state-line neighbors work together. It is our hope officials in both states will continue this spirit of cooperation and continue to work together for the benefit of the people in the region.

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