Council hears update from new village administrator

By Michael Hart - Special to the Sentinel

POMEROY —Pomeroy’s newly appointed village administrator gave his first report to council during Monday’s regular meeting.

The meeting marked the first time a Pomeroy Village Administrator was in attendance since early to mid-2016. The newly appointed Joe Woodall, in his first official meeting, submitted a broad written report and answered in detail questions from council members and audience members.

Woodall, the village administrator for the Village of Middleport, was hired in a part-time capacity by Pomeroy earlier this year.

He outlined a variety of tasks underway, including: expanded water sampling, antiquated back flow prevention procedures, EPA mandated lead mapping, updated contingency plans, improved monitoring of sewer overflows, and a program to properly meter Pomeroy’s water system.

Woodall said a number of the preemptive measures his office was taking would be required if State Senate Bill 333 passes. “The state government is about to get very involved in asset management,” said Woodall.

He reiterated a statement said upon his hiring that bringing Pomeroy into water/sewer compliance was his priority, adding “I’ll be getting nastygrams if I don’t fix it” from state and federal agencies.

However, he was optimistic that he could also address water loss by the village in a timely manner, and said close to 40 services were identified as unmetered, including a variety of government building and apartment complexes.

“We shouldn’t charge the fire department for water, but it’s still important to know their usage,” he explained.

The council approved the Finance Report, and heard from the Village’s Engineer of Record Mitch Altier.

He reported the final payment of $13,187.04 to Walt’s Excavating bonding company was finally able to proceed. The village halted payouts to Walt’s Excavating for a completed storm sewer project after the company became involved in legal disputes with it’s suppliers.

Altier said the legal issues pertaining to the village were resolved, that “warranty claims go through the bonding company now,” and that the village would not need to have any further contact with the original contractor.

Altier also sought and was granted permission to pursue grant applications for a sewer project in Minersville/State Route 7, informally called 833 sewer. He said the EPA has awarded a zero percent loan for the project, and that Appalachian Regional Commission and Community Development Block Grants were the next step.

He further indicated an EMA grant for a project on Fisher Street was likely to be awarded after the agency received further information, and that Woodall and Altier had communicated how to proceed for that request.

Pomeroy Village Council met for three hours Monday night, including a 30 minute executive session.

More on Monday’s meeting will appear in the Thursday edition of The Daily Sentinel.

By Michael Hart

Special to the Sentinel

Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.

Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.