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MUB, BOPARC, city ‘pretty close’ to White Park pipeline agreement

MORGANTOWN — Morgantown Utility Board General Manager Tim Ball said MUB, the city of Morgantown and BOPARC are “pretty close” to reaching a licensing agreement that would allow MUB to run a raw water pipeline through White Park.

During Monday’s regular MUB meeting, Ball explained that since the board last met, both BOPARC and Morgantown City Council approved a route that would run the 30-inch, gravity-fed line about 3,600 feet across park and private property, south of the existing Cobun Creek Reservoir.

All approvals are contingent upon the licensing agreement, which will consider issues like the specifics of the route as well as MUB’s responsibilities in accessing the land, any remediation work or amenities expected and a plan for MUB’s maintenance of its work there going forward.

“Although we’ve made progress on that license agreement, we do not have a document that is finished and ready for consideration by all parties,” Ball explained, asking that any additional conversation be held for executive session.

The line is necessary to move water from the new emergency secondary water source being construction along Cobun Creek — the George B. Fleagel Dam and Reservoir — to the utility’s water treatment plant.

Ball explained that contractor D&M Construction was about 80% finished constructing the pipeline when work was halted back in April due to public outcry over impacts to the park. He said the contractor looks to be back in town in mid-November to resume that work.

As for the new reservoir, Ball said Kanawha Stone is currently constructing a 66” diameter discharge pipe that will carry water through the dam when the reservoir is not collecting water.

Ball said the work at the dam and reservoir is about 11.4% complete.

“We have had conversations with them that we would like to see the pace of that progress increase, and they’ve been receptive to that,” Ball said.

Also on Monday, the board unanimously approved a bid of $213,504 from Stone Paving to provide sanitary sewer services to the Stonehurst development off Dorsey Avenue, in what was formerly part of the Haymaker Forest.

According to information previously provided by the city, the development will include 81 townhouses and required the clearing of a significant portion of the 40-acre forest.

The city attempted to purchase the forest property in June 2018 in an attempt to preserve the green space, but dropped the issue after public outcry over the $5.2 million asking price and $2.6 million appraised value.

“While this development continues to generate public concern, we have no choice but to offer service in accordance with [West Virginia Public Service Commission] rules,” Ball said.

Lastly, Ball said work to replace a 4” water line along Madison Avenue is “very close to being finished.” He said the construction of the new line is complete and crews are in the process of connecting it to the main line, along Mississippi Street.

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