By Stephen Smoot
A number of homes off of US Route 220 south of Franklin will soon be linked to public service district water and sewer services.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council issued a combined $1.75 million in funding to help the public service district to extend service lines.
New lines will extend into the Sandy Ridge and Moatstown areas in south central Pendleton County, connecting approximately 25 customers to public service district water.
The Army Corps of Engineers will provide $1.22 million with the rest coming from the state. The $500,000 from WVIJDC is the maximum amount recommended from that body.
According to Tammy George, administrative secretary for the public service district, choosing sites for water service expansion is a process. The Region 8 Planning and Development Council uses data analysis to identify areas that could feasibly support service expansion. Any expansion requires a critical mass of people to support its use and maintenance.
Region 8 works with town and county governments throughout the Potomac Highlands to help them to access grant funding, important services, and also to meet social services needs of seniors, veterans, children, and others.
Additionally, Pendleton and other sparsely populated counties face the challenge of, in many areas, long distances between houses. A lengthy and expensive project could end up serving a handful of homes. George said that sometimes the homes are separated by two or three miles.
According to its website, the WVIJDC is “a source for state funded water and sewer infrastructure projects, for both the general public and active project participants.
The public service district, Town of Franklin, and Pendleton County Economic and Community Development Authority have a total of 14 separate projects involving the WVIJDC that are under consideration, active, or terminated over the past 20 years.
Construction on the project has not commenced as of yet.