RAINELLE, WV (WVNS) — The town of Rainelle recently received $9.9 million from the federal government for a complete renovation of the town’s storm drain system.
The initial plans to replace the current storm drain system started way back in 2015, but after repeated hang-ups in the bureaucratic process, an end seems to finally be in sight.
Eight years after the initial application for the grant money was filed, Rainelle Mayor Robin Williams and Town Recorder Ron Fleshman told 59News finally receiving the money for the project is a major step toward repairing a system that is long overdue to be replaced.
“The drains that we have now are old. Maybe 100 years. They are collapsed. It’s a necessary update to the town,” said Williams.
Since the initial application for a new storm drain system went in, Rainelle has faced regular flooding issues.
The 2016 Greenbrier County floods wreaked havoc on Rainelle seven years ago, and Williams and Fleshman said since then it doesn’t take much more than a short, heavy rain to leave pools of water throughout the downtown area.
“Along Main Street the water pools in front of the businesses. Sometimes six inches. And therefore it’s been bad for business,” Fleshman told 59News.
The project will include replacing the drains and fixing multiple underground pipes which have collapsed. It is expected to be put out for bid as soon as possible.
Mayor Williams says she is hopeful construction can begin within a matter of weeks.
Rainelle was also recently awarded $2.2 million for the completion of their sidewalk project, extending the town’s sidewalks from 7th street to 12th street.