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MUB gets update on reservoir process, will hold public meeting on Popenoe Run

MORGANTOWN — “It’s a slow process,” Rich Rogers explained during Tuesday’s meeting of the Morgantown Utility Board.

Rogers, MUB’s assistant general manager and chief engineer, was filling the board in on exactly how MUB is filling up the new 370-million-gallon Flegal Reservoir.

MUB began the filling process on Jan. 17,  allowing about 15 feet of water in before starting a mandatory seven-day hold at that depth.

The filling will restart today, allowing one foot per day until another 12 feet of depth is added, triggering another seven-day pause.

That process will repeat as needed.

Rogers explained there is a bit of a learning curve involved.

“We don’t open and start a dam up every day, so trying to figure out how to control the water, because we have a really good stream that flows into the reservoir, and there’s more or less depending on snow or rainfall. So we have to adjust the valves to match that to try to hold it. So you can imagine it’s a challenge to keep it there,” Rogers explained. “But the guys are working really hard and we’re excited about it.”

MUB previously told The Dominion Post it would likely take about three months to completely fill the reservoir, which will provide the utility a 30-day secondary water source.

During a rundown of various city/MUB projects, Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli said the city continues to work with MUB on what future recreational uses make sense for the 125-acre reservoir site off Cobun Creek Road.

In fact, Muzzarelli added, Cobun Creek Road is actually an issue that needs addressed in its own right.

The only portion of roadway MUB is responsible for is the currently gated new section of road that actually accesses the reservoir site.

“I think the biggest thing that we still are going to need to resolve is the roadway,” Muzzarelli said. “I’m sure where you guys are, gate-to-gate, I’m sure that road is going to be super nice when you’re done, but the rest of it isn’t. That is a state road, outside city limits. … If we are having people go there, we want to make sure they can get to and from safely.”

Also on Tuesday, MUB General Manager Mike McNulty said MUB will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Wiles Hill Community Center in order to discuss the forthcoming Upper Popenoe sanitary and stream restoration project.

He said the planning and design work is about 50% complete for that project, which is a joint venture between MUB, the city of Morgantown and Monongalia County to replace 3,000 feet of 60-year-old clay sewer main, place approximately 1,200 feet of new storm sewers and 2,800 linear feet of stream restoration for Popenoe Run, between Willowdale Road and Stewart Street.

“We hope, because of the location, plenty of members of the public from the project area will come and take part and listen,” McNulty said.

Lastly, the board selected leadership for the coming year, appointing Barbara Parsons as chair, Tom Witt as vice chair, Karen Kunz as Treasurer and Erik Carlson as secretary.

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