PIEDMONT- The City of Piedmont continues to make sure a water supply for the community will be available, and with the closing of Verso Paper Company a concern is present.

PIEDMONT- The City of Piedmont continues to make sure a water supply for the community will be available, and with the closing of Verso Paper Company a concern is present.
Piedmont’s water supply traveled through the pipes located on the paper mill property
Ben Smith, water commissioner, at a recent council meeting gave an update, said, “No one wants to see a community without water,” as he added, “We are counting on our legislators.”
One option was to purchase raw water from the town of Westernport, however, recently a letter from that community showed that is not possible.
The letter penned by Westernport’s mayor Laura Freeman said that their water and sewer plan was recognized as “regional provider of potable water,” and the town has priority usage and control of the raw water from the Savage River Reservoir.
She continued and said that in order to maintain the status of potable water, “I regret to inform you that we will not be allowing other water suppliers to tap into our raw water line.”
An option in the letter showed that Piedmont could access Westernport’s potable water system and would qualify at the user rate of $1.05 per a thousand gallons, along with a monthly surcharge fee of $25.
Smith gave another option of having a raw water draw site between Beryl and Piedmont on the West Virginia side of the Potomac River.
“We could draw off the Potomac River like we have been doing,” he said, and named this water project would be less expensive due to not crossing the river.
A requirement Smith spoke about was a needed permit to “draw water from the Potomac River.”
“We are not giving up until we find a solution is determined,” he said, and he said that part of the solution is to “not to shut down the water plant.”
Funding sources are being sought and, Smith said that money is possible from the West Virginia Infrastructure Job Development and West Virginia Economic Development Authority, along with money from Verso.
Mayor Paula Boggs said that she had contacted Del. Gary Howell, and he offered his support, and, “He will be working with us on this project.”
Smith said what the future holds for Piedmont is the Natural Guard will haul water in the community or, “We will get an intake for the water supply.”