BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Despite mild fall temperatures, Raleigh County Commission President David Tolliver remembered the past Christmas, when water lines and residential pipes burst leading to a countywide water crisis.
The private Beckley Water Company, the county’s only water supplier, was unable to fill tanks at Crab Orchard and around the county.
On Tuesday, October 3, 3023, commissioners said they expect an abandoned Glen Daniel mining property, once operated by Beckley Mines, to soon provide water to around 5,000 customers in western Raleigh County.
“So, after we get our own water plant, we will not have to buy any water for [State routes 1 and 3], Glen White, Lester, all the way down to the county line,” Tolliver said. “The western end of the county will be under control of the new water plant.”
Tolliver said the county could save up to one million dollars, annually — money that is currently paid to the water company.
The mine is on 305 acres which the county expects to own by the end of the month, according to county officials, thanks to a donation from Dickerson Companies.
County officials credit mine operators Austin Caperton and Donnie Holcomb for assisting in the water effort.
Tolliver said construction could start within two years.
“If we have the same water problems this coming winter as we did last year, we will be able to furnish over 5,000 people water from, say, Glen Daniels, all the way up Route One, down to Whitesville,” he added.
Commissioners also voted to allocate $59,000 to Clear Creek Community Center, for the purchase of a generator and electrical upgrades, for use during a crisis.
“A lot of issues down there with being out of power, being out of water, and this is just like a phase one, to me,” said Raleigh County Commissioner Greg Duckworth. “There’s some other things they need down there, and I’d like to see some new stuff get going that helps them down there.”