LEWISBURG (WVDN) – Gov. Jim Justice held an event today with officials from the city of Lewisburg to break ground on a $63 million project to upgrade and modernize the Lewisburg water system.
Currently, Lewisburg’s water treatment plant operates 24 hours a day at nearly 100% capacity. As a result, this city has been forced to issue boil water notices and endure water outages caused by mechanical failures, source water contamination, and leaks that are hard to find due to the karst terrain.
“Today is an incredible, incredible day,” Justice said. “Lewisburg is a place a lot of people want to come to but haven’t been able to because we don’t have the water. Now, we can say Lewisburg is an area where we can welcome growth.”
The city of Lewisburg is the regional water supplier in Greenbrier County and serves approximately 12,000 customers in Lewisburg, Ronceverte, Renick, Frankford, Maxwelton, Fairlea, and Caldwell.
Justice was joined at the event today by Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White, Lewisburg City Manager Misty Hill, Lewisburg City Council members Sarah Elkins, Franklin Johnson, Valerie Pritt, and other project leaders.
“Gov. Justice, we’re so grateful for you being here,” White said. “We thank you so much for the $7 million that took us to the finish line. You have our deepest appreciation.”
The project includes:
1) Upgrading the water treatment plant’s capacity from 1,200 gpm to 4,000 gpm, more than tripling its current output.
2) Relocating the source of water supply upstream of the landfill and salvage yard which requires nearly 2 miles of 24″ water line and a new raw water intake facility.
3) Construction of 3 million gallons of additional storage tanks in the system.
4) Replacement of undersized water mains in the system along with redundant supply lines to further minimize future outages.
5) The project will not only increase the quality and quantity of potable water to the city’s customers but will also increase the overall resiliency of the system by providing a safe and dependable supply of water to the system. It will also allow new customers to be added to the water system.
“The very thing that gives us life is water,” Justice said. “Without any question, water is essential in every way and in every aspect of our lives.”
Bids for the project were opened on March 22, 2022, and came in over estimates due to soaring material prices and supply-chain issues.
The winning bid totals $63.468 million, with $39.834 million from a USDA loan, $12.914 million from a USDA grant, $7,586,106.26 from a WDA EEGF grant, $165,000 from IJDC grant, and $2,968,893.74 from the City of Lewisburg.
Without the state grant contributions, the bid would expire, and the project would not be funded.