MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The Morgantown Utility Board of Directors got an update on major projects and welcomed a new board member during the Tuesday regular meeting.

On a day when heavy rains were causing some localized flooding and high winds toppled trees and powerlines, there were no reports of infrastructure or property damage in the Popenoe Run area, according to General Manager Mike McNulty. Many properties in the area were damaged during dual heavy rain events during the summer of 2021, and it is now the site of an improvement project funded by MUB, Monongalia County, and the City of Morgantown.

“We’ve had a report of one overflow, but other than that, we’ve not had any reports of property damage or anyone experiencing any problems,” McNulty said.

McNulty said they are still working to secure the easements needed to complete the project. A list of properties remains that MUB officials plan to pursue to get approval. There is a chance some clearing could be done this year before some endangered animal restrictions come into play.

“We have 49 signed easements, maybe 50; I think we got one more,” McNulty said. “So, there are still about 23 outstanding. The design is complete, and bid documents are just about 100 percent complete now.”

Bi-weekly meetings continue on the design of the Cheat Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant with Strand & Associates and collection system upgrades throughout the system. A meeting is planned this week with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection about Cheat Lake improvements and working to eliminate CSOs (Combined Sewer Overflows).

“The new wastewater treatment plant is part of a new interceptor, but there’s more to come,” McNulty said. “This will be a multi-year phased approach to capturing CSOs and treating them.”

Soon, the former location of Dinsmore Tire and associated buildings on Don Knotts Boulevard will be coming down. The EPA has to provide the final go-ahead before demolition of the buildings will begin. Once the buildings are removed, the final remediation of the site will be completed, according to Assistant General Manager and Chief Engineer Rich Rogers.

“It’s the area where they couldn’t do any testing before,” Rogers said. “So, once those buildings are down, they’ll do some initial soil testing and, from there, work with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to come up with the final remediation plan.”

The board also welcomed a new board member, Samuel Workman, PhD. Workman is a West Virginia native back in the Mountain State after serving as a professor at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Workman is the Director of the WVU Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs, John D. “Jay” Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics.

“I’m very pleased to serve with a bunch of great people, and I just hope I can bring some of this expertise to bear here and be a help to the board, to MUB, and to the Morgantown community,” Workman said.