KNOTTSVILLE—After months of hard work, dedication, planning, talks and meetings, residents in the Cathord and Frog Run Roads are rejoicing over the approval of a major project.
Back in October, resident Donna Trickett approached the Taylor County Commission with a proposed waterline extension project that would bring water to homes and cabins at Tygart Lake, after the urging of the Public Service Commission.
“This all started out as a conversation on our boat dock last summer,” Trickett shared. “We are just really trying to provide a significant improvement in the quality of life for the residents in that area.”
Currently, homeowners in that area of Taylor County are having to draw water from a well, and some of the working wells require water filtration system that can be costly for the homeowners.
“There is one family with six children that do not have working water or a well, and they’re syphoning water out of the lake when they can,” Trickett told. “When the water levels are low, they have to go get water and bring it in. As you can imagine, that’s a pretty difficult living situation.”
Working alongside her husband, Bob Trickett, and Candy Layfield, the group set out to talk to home and property owners in the area who could benefit from the project. They also reached out to the PSD and quickly got them on board with the planning.
“It is our goal to provide clean, safe, reliable drinking water that won’t stain your toilets, sinks and showers and that you can wash your dishes and clothes in and it won’t ruin your appliances,” Trickett voiced. “And for residents in the area to have a dependable supply of water.”
She said that the project would benefit the county, because it would help increase property values and could potentially lead to further development of that area of the county.
D. Trickett revealed an ace up her sleeve, sharing something with the commission that would help sweeten the deal.
“I have talked with Richard Domas, a property owner that would benefit from the extension and who has a directional drilling company, and he has agreed to use his labor and equipment for the project. So, all that would need taken care of are the materials,” D. Trickett disclosed.
After some areas of business were discussed, the waterline extension group went back to residents to obtain signatures, along with working to figure out some specifics pertaining to the project before returning before the county commission.
Everything seemed as if it were on track, and then tragedy struck. One that would threaten the project’s launch.
During the December 3 Taylor County Commission meeting, a saddened Trickett tearfully revealed to the commissioners that Domas had unexpectedly passed away, and it was unclear if his business, East Coast Underground, would be able to continue with the agreement.
“At this point, we are unsure of the impact that Richard’s passing will have on our project,” she told the commission. “We are determined to see this project to completion in his honor, with the help of the Taylor County Commission and the PSD.”
She shared that the project was one that was incredibly close to Domas and one that he was dedicated to, so it would only be fitting to continue on with it in his memory.
The group came before the commission after the first of the year to share an update after speaking with Domas’ widow, who had taken on the operation of the drilling business.
“Although East Coast Underground can no longer donate their services for free, they are able to offer a significantly reduced rate,” Trickett said. “We believe that the county would never be able to do the project for any cheaper than at this time.”
She reported that if completed by any other firm, the project would come in at nearly half-a-million-dollars. However, with East Coast, the project would take only two weeks to be completed and would only cost the commission $138,230.
“We’d like to start mid-April to get it done before you’re season traffic starts coming through,” said a representative from East Coast Underground. “We are estimating that it would only take us two weeks to complete, which would leave plenty of time. It would be our intent to get it done as quickly as possible.”
After taking the matter under advisement, the Taylor County Commission decided to back the venture.
“We are very much in favor of this project, it is a very good project that could lend to further development,” said Commissioner Tony Veltri.
With that, Commissioner Sam Gerkin made the motion to accept the request for the waterline extension, with Veltri seconding.
“We see this as a step toward progress for the county, and we appreciate your dedication and hard work toward the project,” said Commission President Orville Wright.