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robert porter5 - Judge to BECKLEY POST-HERALD, BECKLEY, W. V A.,...
Judge to BECKLEY POST-HERALD, BECKLEY, W. V A., WEDNESDAY MORNING, JANUARY 1, 1969 Administration Not To Blame, Mayor Says SEVEN Sophia Water Problem Said Solved; or Lashes Out At Local Critics By PAULINE HAGA Post-Herald Correspondent History has it that many presidents received the blame for past administrations. It seems that is true in the case of Sophia's administration which suffered many woes in its recurring water situation the past month. Mayor Robert Porter and control at r e e t s , while was for mph members of his council, Town Recorder Howard V/alker and Councilmen Johnny Milano, D. it. Rinehart, and Clarence Cullis, have compiled a complete report of the situation and the raany problems the administration encountered in having the water lines repaired. Mayor Porter said that on Monday Dec. 2 the new water superintendent, Woodrow Harmon, noticed pressure dropping on the tank and the water level was dropping. The water department immediately started checking for a leak and walked most of the line and at 5 p.m. found water erupting from the ground where the main eight- inch pipe is located on Riffe property near Crab Orchard. IMMEDIATELY, customers at Midway and on upper level streets in Sophia began losing their water pressure early Tuesday morning. Porter said that members of the council and town employes were called out Monday night to locate the leak and the crew worked throughout the night and Tuesday night. Mayor Porter said tiie crew discovered tiie water line, which is supposed to be laid only three feet underground, was covered about 900 feet by 15 to 18 feet of landfill, consisting of rocks, gravel and tree stumps. "After digging as deep as possible with the city's backhoe, another machine from the B B Excavating Company was employed on Wednesday morning, which was still unable to clear out the debris so the line could be repaired. As the walls kept caving in, Bob's Sanitary new line. | "Due to the large rocks which had to be dynamited and various pipe couplings that had to be ordered and delivered, about two days were lost on the new line. When the crew started hooking up the new line on Wednesday, Dec. 18 residents in the hill areas and at Midway started losing their water again. "When the new line f was hooked up, a break erupted which had to be repaired. The last coupling was made on the new line Friday afternoon and the residents began receiving full water pressure by Saturday morning." MAYOR PORTER and his councilman noted that when the emergency line was in use the crew attempted to make use of the booster pump at the town water tank to aid the emergen- line. "The administration previous to the present one had removed the pump a n d cemented the line up because the pump, they said was not needed and would not be needed in the future," Porter pointed out. The former eolght-inch main was previously laid on Riffe property three feet deep. "When the new four-lane highway was constructed, Vecellio a n d Grogaii, contractors, made an agreement with the owner to make a landfill which put the main water line under about 18 feet of debris. This makes it impossible for the Water Works to maintain this water line," Mayor Porter said. Mayor P o r t e r and comv cilmen said tiw felt the ad ministration had been criticised unjustly during the situation. "Our men worked around the clock from start to finish. We could get plenty of advice but when workers were needed, none were available. We were willing to come out in rain, snow and near zero weather (which incidently put several of the councilmen, water superintendent and myself bedfast with pneumonia), but others gave advice, criticized and stayed in their warm homes. Others called the health department; Public Service Commission and the local newspaper," Porter said. ...THE COUNCIL reported that the administration fully complied with the Public Service Commission and H e a l t h Department, went through all the legal procedures required by law, "and even though we have been critized by many, even the press, we are proud to say we have some of the best and most considerate people in Sophia, and a few that mayor added. Mayor Porter, in answer to an editorial in the Beckley Post- Herald, said, "the author should have checked before he wrote the story remarking that the water works and administration were penny-pinching. If the author had checked with the office we would have shown our many improvements in the water service in the past years and given the cost to maintain the water works." Porter commented. "T H E ADMINISTRATION was in contact with the Public Service Commission letting them know what was being done and the commission was very pleased with the progress and informed the council Of such," commented Porter. "The present administration," Porter said, "takes this meani to ask the citizens, regardless of who is elected, to back their city council and meetings as this attend their the only is way to make our town a better place in which to live." none could possibly please," the in of Tuesday meeting. cost his Company was employed to pump the water out, with the aid of the city pumps and several borrowed from the City of Beckley. "After 16,000 gallons of water was pumped out, we were still unable to clear the ditch to get the break repaired and almost lost our water superintendent when the ditch caved in." The mayor said a special meeting of City Council was caUed at 3:30 a,.m. on Thursday morning and council members went to the site and decided the line was impossible to reach for repair due to tiie condition of the water and since it had been covered with large rocks and other debris. ..COUNCIL VOTED to order new pipes and lay a new line around the break. "After consulting with the Beckley Water Company officials concerning the emergency line, council A new water superintendent for the town of Sophia is Woodrow Harmon who was appointed to the position fl Hires New Water Superintendent _ . ... ,- * tm ^-w _ A. -*rr i. TT± .*.. earlier this month. Harmon will attend a one-week school to help him in his position at West Virginia University in Morgantown in early summer. 444 VALLEY DRIVE S. CORNER CITY AVE. Closed Wednesday -- Hew Years Day HAPPT NEW YEAR We Welcome This Chance To Extend To All The People Of Tiie Beckley Area Our Heartiest Good Wishes For A Happy And Plentiful New Year. Ohio, be Funeral Monday Brand, late of sons, C., of Mrs. Lorain inch galvenized pipe to lay lines across the break to furnish the emergency water. A truck from Huntington arrived with the new eight inch pipe later, Mayor Porter said. Rubber gaskets for the pipe had to be shipped from Chicago and didn't arrive until Sunday, Dec. 8, and other fittings for the new lines were not received until Wednesday, Dec. 11. "In the meantime the two- inch emergency purchased from pipe was r R a l e i g h Hardware and men bagan laying the line on Thursday night, finishing the work Friday. Due to state health requirements, the new lines had to be blocked off at each end and chlorine left in for 24 hours and then drained out before the water could travel through. "This was done snd one of the lines froze due to the low temperatures and s e v e r e weather. This had to be thawed out and when pressure was put on the emergency line, the line fittings blew loose. "Council then called in Sophia plumbing to weld the emergency lines, which was done by 5:30 p.m. on Sunday." T H R O U G H O U T THIS emergency, Mayor Porter said he and Recorder Walker had meet with Gene Riffe, owner six O f the property and with a lawyer to get permission to move the right of way for tiie new eight-inch line. City Engineer L A. McAdco and D. R. Rhinehart, councilmen, surveyed the new right of way site and after two days of surveying, agreement was finally reached with the property owner for the new right of way. George Ruble, owner of Sophia Plumbing, and his crew, along with men employed by the city and two men from the Raleigh County Board of Education, started work on the Minnie Mrs. Va. and Crab and Blevins Davis. . m. 1 is generating electricity can to keep complaints from arising, and it means prompt and getting it to where it's used. We're in this business and fak handling of those that do. because it is concerned with the supply of a fundamental requirement of modem living, because it's an honorable We are a citizen of each community we serve and take an

Clipped from
  1. Beckley Post-Herald,
  2. 01 Jan 1969, Wed,
  3. Page 7

Bobby Porter Member Photo

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