New Creek Water gets funding for upgrade
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The aging and problem-plagued New Creek water system received some good news Thursday to the tune of almost $4.5 million.
In a brief and socially-distanced ceremony outside the New Creek Water Association’s office on New Creek Highway, Kris Warner, the state director of the United States Department of Agriculture, announced New Creek had been chosen to receive a $3.4 million Water and Waste Disposal loan and a $996,000 Water and Waste Disposal grant.
Add to that the $5 million and additional $500,000 already committed by the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council (IJDC), and “you’ve got about $9 million to add on and improve your water service,” Warner said.
Association president Tom Cooper praised all those who have put in some “long, hard work” to get to the point of being able to upgrade and expand the system.
John Cole, one of the engineers with RK&K who worked on plans for the project, explained that the aging system has been plagued with broken pipes, leak issues, and pumping problems, and the project will include a new water tank, pump stations, and “about nine miles of new water mains.”
The upgrade will benefit 3,501 customers, including a small group who will receive water for the first time from New Creek.
Cole said the project is currently in the hands of the West Virginia Public Service Commission for the certification process, and “we’re hoping for a spring construction when we can actually get shovels in the ground.”
Warner said the USDA, through the Trump Administration, is investing more than $13 million in water and wastewater loans and grants, including the awards to New Creek and an award made later in the day to the Adrian Public Service District in Upshur County.
“The positive impact these investments will have on the rural communities in Mineral and Upshur counties is paramount,” he said.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly here in the Mountain State to be a strong partner to rural West Virginia businesses, which helps build stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural West Virginia thrives, all of America thrives.”