Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 9, 2012

Red tape slowing progress on Dry Town $4.1M sewer project

TAZEWELL, Va. — Progress is slow but steady on a $4.1 million sewer project extending service to the Dry Town area.

Town Manager Todd Day said the Dry Town Sewer Project is moving forward but at a slower pace than he would like. When completed, the project will bring sewer access to areas of Dry Town previously annexed by the town.

“It’s going a little slow,” Day said. “It is moving forward, but it is taking longer than we would like due to legalities and red tape.”

Project engineers and legal advisors are presently working to secure right-of-ways for the project, Day said.

“We are still working to secure the right-of-ways,” he said. “The engineering has been done and those engineers are working with our in-house attorney to do the deeds and plats with the property owners that we need to facilitate the project. When that is done and agreements are made with the property owners, the project will go to bid. We are hoping to start soliciting those bids in the spring.”

Day said a variety of grants and a low-interest loan are helping the town finance the sewer project.

“This is a multimillion dollar capital improvement project to areas annexed by the town presently on septic,” Day said. “We have grants totaling $600,000 to finance the project through the Department of Economic and Community Development as well as around $60,000 from the Department of Environmental Quality. There is about $720,000 in grant money we have secured. The rest of the money is coming from an approved low-interest governmental loan from the state. The estimated cost of the total project is $4.1 million. We are really excited for this project.”

When completed, Day said town leaders are hoping the sewer expansion will lead to both residential and economic growth for the area.

“The quality of life is improved with sewer lines and better drinking water,” Day said. “Having these things is important to local residents. This project will not only help residents but stimulate economic growth, allowing more businesses to open and expand. Several of the areas we annexed already had residents and commercial businesses, but they did not have sewer service. Most are presently running on septic tanks. The town owns and operates a full-service sewer treatment plant that continues to grow. Our ultimate goal is for both residential and commercial growth in that area when this project is complete.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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