By Kyle Lovern
August 15, 2013
DELBARTON - Over the years, the sewer system in the Town of Delbarton that has accommodated approximately 450 customers had definitely seen its better days. Thanks to grants and a government loan, a $10 million dollar upgrade is being completed in several stages and will include service to nearby outlying communities in the near future.
The 1st phase of the project is now completed, according to John Preece, the Mayor of Delbarton, who sat down with two of his town council members and the Williamson Daily News for an interview that highlighted many changes being made to the small community, and the sewer plant was at the top of their list.
“We used to have a Model-T Ford and now we’ve got a Cadillac,” remarked Councilman Joe Crum, who expressed his excitement and relief that the sewage project is quickly becoming a reality for the town that he holds dear. “This has been a long time coming.”
Before the upgrades began, the sewage plant was in a state of disrepair and routine maintenance was no longer enough to keep everything working properly. Thanks to the grants and loans, Delbarton now has a state-of-the-art sewer plant that, as stated by the mayor, should easily last for the next 30-40 years.
“We’re preparing to start the second phase of the project, which will be in the Ragland community,” said the mayor. “When this portion is completed, we will have picked up approximately 200 additional homes.”
“With this being said, I want the residents of Delbarton to be aware that we are aggressively collecting past due water and sewage bills,” stated Preece. “We have financial obligations to meet and if the bills aren’t paid to the town, it creates problems for us.”
“Corrective action will be taken against those who don’t pay and they could possibly have their service discontinued. We have a budget that we have to meet and we have actively enforced collecting past due bills,” the Mayor stated. “Bill Duty has been working on this project for us and has done a wonderful job collecting past due debts and these efforts will continue as long as it takes.”
“We are also collecting past due B&O taxes that are past due for several businesses located within our town limits and we’re working with the business owners to correct that problem and get everyone caught back up.”
Once the Ragland sewage project is completed, the Elk Creek community will follow. Preece, along with Councilmen Crum and Mark Sizemore spoke of what an instrumental part Mike Whitt, the former Director of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, had played in acquiring funding for the project.