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District Awards Project Bids;
Billing For PSD Customers
Is Two Months In Arrears
by Robin Gordon

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Mt. Zion Public Service District board members Shirley Mace, Sharon Postalwait and Roscoe “Cokey” Gainer held a special meeting at 6 p.m. last Saturday at West Fork Park, Arnoldsburg.

The first item on the agenda was to receive comments during a public hearing in regard to the 2009 Mt. Zion PSD water extension project. Next item was to act upon a bond resolution authorizing the financing of the project.

By a show of hands, all 10 residents effected by the waterline extension district, who attended the meeting, wanted the project to go through.

According to attorney Tom Whittier, “The bottom line is that all the people here in the district want the project and think the financing is O.K.”

The third item on the agenda was to receive advice of the USDA Rural Development office in regard to the award of bids for the project.

Whittier said that the board received a letter from Virginia McDonald, Rural Development area specialist, on Nov. 27:

“A letter which recommends that the district, what it is, is a letter of concurrence. The district has recommended to USDA that they award bids in a certain manner. The district cannot award the bids and has not awarded the bids until USDA gives them concurrence, that is gives them permission to reward the bids. So, the recommendation of the USDA, with regard to Contract 1, is that the bid be awarded to Bruce Allen, Inc., $3,433,065.

“The recommendation of the USDA regarding Contract 2 is that it be awarded to Mid-Atlantic Storage System, Inc., for $319,600. A preconstruction conference and a preclosing has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21, 2009, and a final closing will be Dec. 23, 2009.”

The board approved the two recommendations.

The next item on the agenda was to evaluate the condition of the equipment and records received from secretary/treasurer Wilma Mace, and to take action necessary to correct any deficiencies.

Shirley Mace reported that she and her daughter, Norma Collins, went to Wilma Mace’s resident and gathered up boxes and equipment. She said that everything they had gathered was taken to the sewer station on Phillip’s Run.

Shirley Mace said, “We started to hook up the computer, and I told Norma that we don’t need to bother those computers till we get someone that has been recommended to look at it before we bother it.

“We had a clone made out of it, the computer’s hard drive, so the original hard drive is secure, but we have a copy of everything that was on that hard drive in the computer now, that we can get into it and eventually work with.”

Fanelli Boys, Inc., of Parkersburg is the company that secured the hard drive.

Shirley Mace said that Wilma Mace was cooperating with the Mt. Zion PSD.

“We have shut off notices on our electric, our gas, we have no compensation, no insurance, and it can’t get any worse. We have paid our electric, we got caught up with our USDA payments, and we are still working on the rest of it. We don’t have any bills out yet, the water bills have not been sent out for two months now, but we’re trying,” said Shirley Mace.

She added, “We have a computer program (Appalachian Software, Inc.) that all the board and everyone involved will be schooled on this program so that if one fails, somebody can pick the ball up and go, and not get in this fix again.”

Whittier said, “One thing Shirley Mace discovered was a box of unopened mail, indicating that some articles of mail dated two months ago had not been opened, including bills and payments. The district is working hard to remedy that and to get cross training in place so that doesn’t happen again.”

Collins said, “An office for the Mt. Zion PSD has been set up behind the Pit Stop at Mt. Zion. The owners of the Pit Stop have agreed to temporarily house this office for free, temporarily. There have been no contracts signed, but there is a separate office out there just for that.

The board approved the resignation of Wilma Mace.

It was noted that Saundra Ballengee is a temporary replacement, and the board will legally post and advertise a job description.

The meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

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