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Kingwood, Bridgeport board members discuss improvements to sewer system

KINGWOOD — A representative from Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. (CEC) of Bridgeport and Kingwood sewer board members discussed improvements to the Kingwood sewer system during their Monday afternoon meeting.

Members of the board looked over a map that displayed sites of possible new customers and discussed the possibility of getting rid of grinder pumps.

In October, Travis Adams, senior project manager of CEC and Nick Wolfe, Kingwood sewer supervisor visited the locations of all of the existing pumps and believed with planning and evaluation the pumps could be replaced with a gravity system. Many of the systems are already close to a gravity line. The key focus was the removal of 46 or 47 grinder pumps.

Board members asked CEC to provide them with recommendations of feasibility and an estimate of cost per customer.

No further action was taken but CEC is continuing to study the situation.

In other business, board members voted unanimously to give employees a 3% cost of
living raise.

Board member Randy Plum asked if the board was going give a 3% (cost of living) raise every year.

“I believe we’ll be in deficit next year. We need the accountant to look at it,” he said, referring to a possible sewer rate hike.

“We have the 10th-highest rate in the state of West Virginia,” Mayor Jean Guillot said. “I prefer to squeeze by this year and ask for an increase next year.”

The 3% cost of living increase will cost the board $10,023.

“No one with this raise will make less than $15 an hour,” Plum said. He said a sewer rate increase would be for both employees and operating expenses.

The board also voted unanimously to let Wolfe purchase a 2019 half-ton truck with 20,000 miles on it for $35,000. Wolfe said he checked prices on new trucks and a half-ton truck cost $51,000 and a new Dodge 2022 three-quarter truck cost $53,000.

Guillot said money for the purchase will come out of the board’s COVID money.

The next meeting of the Kingwood Sewer Board will be 2:30 p.m. April 11.

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