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Tunnelton asks commission to help fund water line extension

KINGWOOD — The town of Tunnelton is seeking funding for the Fortney Road water line extension. If funded, the extension will add seven new customers to the town’s water service.

David Watson, an engineer with Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. from Bridgeport, said the extension will cost approximately $143,000. He said the town is asking for $33,000 from the commission for engineering, legal, permits and other costs.

Tunnelton Town Clerk Rita Nicholson said some of the wells at homes that could connect to water service have iron in the water, and other wells have gone dry. She said everyone on the list of eight eligible homes has committed to connect to the town water system if it’s expanded — except one.

She said the owners of that home did not want to hold the remaining homes back and would provide a right-of-way if necessary.

Preston County Commissioner Don Smith said there are grants available for projects costing less than $1 million. The town of Newburg received some such grants for its water expansion project. Smith said the town should reach out to Region VI about obtaining this type of grant funding.

Commission President Samantha Stone said if mining took place in the area, Abandoned Mine Land Grant (AML) funding should be available.

No further action was taken.

All county offices will switch to a per diem reimbursement policy beginning Dec. 1.

Smith said the new system will be more efficient and employees won’t have to be concerned about lost travel receipts. He said the per diem system will also make bookkeeping easier and more efficient.

According to the General Services Administration, per diem is an allowance for lodging, meals and incidental expenses. It establishes the per diem reimbursement rates that federal agencies use to reimburse their employees for subsistence expenses while traveling within the continental United States.

In other business, commissioners approved the hiring of Teresa Boylan as a full-time office/kennel assistant at the Preston County Animal Shelter. Boylan’s starting date is Nov. 20. Her pay rate will be $14 per hour with benefits. Her probationary period will end Feb. 29.

Commissioners went into executive session to discuss a discrimination complaint they received Nov. 3 from the Human Rights Commission. Stone said Prosecuting Attorney Jay Shay will respond to the complaint.

All county offices will be closed Friday for Veteran’s Day.

The next meeting of the Preston County Commission will be 9:30 a.m. Monday.