Water line not included in West High upgrade

Later this year, when the village undertakes a major upgrade of West High Street, it will do so without replacing the waterline.

The decision was made not to add the waterline replacement to the project because of the estimated extra $170,000 it would cost.

“We don’t have that kind of money,” said Mike Ours, senior water plant operator and water/sewer operations supervisor.

As part of Village Council’s planned upgrade of West High Street, the Board of Public Affairs investigated replacing the 4-inch waterline with an 8-inch line since the street would already be torn up. Ours said they abandoned the plan after the engineering firm of Dallis Dawson & Associates determined it would cost $170,000 to incorporate the waterline as part of the project.

“I’m sure they don’t have the money either,” he said of council, which was confirmed by village Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner. “That’s why we didn’t add it in,” she said.

The larger line would have improved water pressure along West High Street, but Ours said the pressure is adequate and they were motivated by the opportunity to replace an older waterline with a newer, larger one.

“It’s been on the wish list for a long while, and I guess it’ll be there for a while longer,” he said. “The pressure is fine, but 4-inch lines are unheard of today. If you were putting in a line today it would have to be least 8 inches.”

The West High Street improvements will extend its entire length, from Thomas Road to North Beaver Street, a distance of 1,300 feet. In addition to a new and improved blacktop road surface, concrete gutters will be replace the brick gutter system starting at the high school. This will better direct rain runoff east to storm sewers near North Beaver Street.

West High Street parallels the rear entrance of the high school, and at one time council had envisioned widening the road and putting in sidewalks to make it like look like West Pine Street, which runs past the front of the school. But those items were dropped, too, because of the costs.

“There was a Cadillac version of the project, but that was scaled down to address just the drainage problem” because council considered that the biggest priority and needing addressed the most, Wonner said.

The project is to cost an estimated $317,289, with a state grant secured by the village to cover a portion of the expense, with Columbiana County commissioners contributing $249,600 of its 2013 federal Community Block Grant allocation to help cover the rest.