A $1-million grant from the federal government is making it possible to finally connect eastern Kanawha County’s sewer system. Businesses and homeowners in the Marmet and Hernshaw area says it’s a project years in the making.
James Kirk opened his body shop in Hernshaw about four years ago. He loves his community, but on hot summer days, his town just stinks.
“[We need to] clean the streams up and clean the smell, that’s the big thing,” Kirk explained.
Some neighbors don’t have working septic systems and dump into Lens Creek. Others have leaky tanks that aren’t big enough.
“Everybody has their own septic system, probably 90% of them are illegal just because we don’t have the room to do it the way they want it done,” Kirk told 13 News.
But Kirk hopes it all will change as construction is set to start on a sewer line to connect the town in with the county’s sewage system.
“I think everybody that lives here will be a happy place to live because they won’t have to smell their neighbors waste and deal with septic tank problems,” Kirk added.
Along with the 6 businesses, there will be about 200 homes along Lens Creek here that will be able to connect into the sewage line.
“People also expect their government to be there for them for basic services and needs,” Congressman Evank Jenkins told 13 News.
The Republican helped secure the funding needed to get the $12-million sewer line extension rolling. Congressman Mooney says you can expect to see more infrastructure projects like this in West Virginia.
“It’s going to be part of an overall plan Congress is working on with the president and the local communities- the states and the counties, like here in Kanawha County- to really get our roads, our bridges, water and sewer, airports up and running. To really be on top of the world, like our country is,” Congressman Mooney added.
Phase 1 of the project has already started and will cost about $5-million. It will take another $7-million to finish Phase 2 and get all homes and businesses connected to the new sewer line.