Martins Ferry lands funding for extensive waterline project

MARTINS FERRY – City officials held a press conference Monday afternoon to announce the $1.6 million grant that will go toward the County Road 4 water line replacement project.

This project will replace pre-1960’s waterlines that serves 234 households, including residents and businesses. These waterlines are considered some of the worst in the city.

Bids for this project will go out Feb. 1 and close at the end of February. The city plans to start this project on May 1 and should last about six to eight months.

“As our city continues to struggle financially, we continue to apply for infrastructure grants that are available to assist us in our water and sewer line projects,” said Mayor Paul Riethmiller. “We have submitted numerous grants and request over the last few years for several major new projects in our city.”

In January, this project was included in the EPA’s Project Priority List. To receive funding, the project must be included on this list.

The grant was written by City Director of Development Kathy Gagin.

“The mayor brought me on when he first took over administration in the city and we set down and made a priority list. This waterline as an infrastructure project has always been top priority,” said Gagin.

According to Water Superintendent Craig Harris, there have been 19 waterline breaks in this four mile section in the five years he has served as the water superintendent. This area has had one-third of the water breaks in the city.

“It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s about $5,000 every time there is a water break,” said Harris.

The type of pipe that will be used is a high density polyethylene. This pipe with will be fused together and will be seamless.

“It is a nice offering they received. This is the very first big step towards fixing some of the infrastructure,” said Jeff Vaughn, who serves as the city’s engineer. “If you can get this thing in from a year from now, that will be great because then you don’t have to worry about revisiting this like we have to do all the time. Then we can move on to something else and get a head of the game.”

Van Dyne may be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonlone.com