In light of the recent chemical spill into the Elk River in the southern part of West Virginia, the Parsons city council wants the public to know that they are working on a plan to ensure clean water access for all residents.
A river alert information network (RAIN) is in place now that tests the water at the raw-water intake and will notify city officials immediately in case of contaminants. This will allow the valves to be shut down quickly to prevent the contaminated water from entering the system.
At the present time, if the system would have to be shut down, Parsons would have a two day supply of water.
Council hopes to implement a plan that would connect the Parsons and Hamrick water systems. Since each system receives its raw water from different rivers, if one is affected, the other would remain a viable water source. Thus ensuring a large part of the county could maintain safe, clean water in the case of an emergency.
This connection would be made by under-river drilling at the point where both systems are at the closest proximity to each other. Pipes and valves would be installed so that in case of an emergency, causing a shut-down to either system, the remaining water system would pick up the load for both.
Council stated that water rationing may still have to take place, but at least the citizens would have water. These plans are in the works and will be placed with an engineering firm.
Harold and Lois Arbogast appeared before council to ask that the street committee revisit the decision to make the intersection of Fourth Street and Main Street an all-way stop. Mr. Arbogast does not believe that council was given an accurate depiction of the traffic pattern/issues at this intersection and would like the city to remove the stop signs that are in place on Main Street, leaving in place those currently on Fourth. Mrs. Arbogast also requested that a problem with visibility at the intersection of Fifth Street and Chestnut Street be checked out by the street committee. Council agreed to have the street committee look into these requests.
In other business, council agreed to donate $500 to the Veterans Association to be used for a lighting project at the Veteran’s Memorial located on Main Street. They also voted to give $150 as a prize sponsorship for the Fifth Annual Student Art Show.
In new business, following the recommendations of the Personnel Committee, council voted to hire Bernard A. (Pete) Tompkins for the Laborer/General Mechanic position as a full time employee with benefits and Mark Burns for the Assistant Water Treatment Plant Operator position as part-time without benefits.
Council voted to accept with deep regret the resignation of Misty Bolyard. Council voted to post her position and a Water Distribution System and Wastewater Collection System Technician position.
The next regular meeting of the Parsons City Council will be on February 11, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Building. If you have an item you would like on the agenda, you may contact them at 304-478-2311.