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Three-way deal to finance $14M in water, sewer upgrades clears ultimate hurdle

MORGANTOWN — For those who had to make use of a single phrase to sum up Wednesday’s Monongalia County Fee assembly, that phrase can be “lastly.” 

For those who had to make use of two, add “proud.” 

Some 217 days after the fee, WestRidge and the Morgantown Utility Board agreed to collectively pay simply over $11 million to obtain $3 million in West Virginia Water Improvement Authority grant funding, the memorandum of understanding spelling out the main points of that settlement is in place. 

The cash — $3,687,667 from all three events — will likely be mixed with $3 million from the WDA to bankroll $7,225,000 in water enhancements and $6,838,000 in sewer upgrades for the WestRidge and larger Chaplin Hill space. 

The water mission will embrace an improve of the Chaplin Hill booster station in addition to 9,625 ft of 12-inch water line and 1,100 ft of 24-inch water line crossing beneath the Monongahela River on the Westover bridge. It should additionally embrace the development of a brand new 859,000-gallon water storage tank. 

The sewer enhancements will embrace a carry station improve in addition to 9,000 ft of power principal and 1,200 ft of sewer line crossing beneath the Monongahela River on the Star Metropolis Bridge. 

“This stage of cooperation has by no means been skilled earlier than right here in Mon County or wherever within the state,” Commissioner Sean Sikora stated. “We needed to push lots of limits and, actually, knock lots of heads collectively to maintain all people targeted on the true aim, to finalize this mission and get this growth to this facet of the county.” 

This story began again in mid-2022, when the events believed there would must be a 20% native match ($2.8 million). Based mostly on phrase out of Charleston, that quantity quickly grew to 50% ($7 million) and ended at about 80% final December, when the WDA introduced its grant awards. 

That’s half and parcel of representing Monongalia County, in accordance with Fee President Tom Bloom. 

“Each different mission is 20%, however then they wished 50%, and we thought, ‘Okay, we’re keen to do 50%.’ Now we’re at 80%,” Bloom stated. “I need the general public to know that’s what is going on in Monongalia County. However we have been in a position to do it and we’re going to profit from it … although we needed to do 4 instances greater than some other mission.” 

In accordance with The Dominion Put up archive, the WDA permitted $96 million in Financial Enhancement Fund Grant {dollars} for 30 candidates — 14 of which obtained their full funding request and 16 of which, like MUB, obtained a portion. 

Whereas MUB obtained $3 million of a $7 million request for $14 million in enhancements, a $13 million request from the Better Harrison County Public Service District was absolutely funded and The Berkeley County Public Service Water District obtained $18.4 million, which was a portion of its full request. 

The fee stated MUB and WestRidge ought to be recommended for his or her dedication to the mission, as ought to Morgantown Space Partnership CEO Russ Rogerson, who helped push the collaboration ahead. 

“That is actually historic within the sense that we acknowledge as a bunch that part, that entire quadrant of the county, is a development space for us – Mylan Park, Chaplin Hill Enterprise Park, WestRidge. It’s solely going to proceed in that space,” Rogerson stated. “Because the greenback quantity received increased, the larger the problem, however actually, actually excited to be part of that and actually happy with the outcome.”    

Talking on behalf of Mylan Park, Ron Justice lauded the management proven by all concerned. 

“I don’t know of some other group that might have put this collectively. In all actually, I believe most different communities would have stated, ‘It’s what it’s and due to this fact we will’t do what we need to do.’ It was a really tough carry, and also you all made the dedication,” Justice stated.  “You’re to be recommended for that as a result of actually what’s going to occur over the subsequent 20 to 25 years … is the profit that’s going to be seen from the actions you all have performed.”