McDOWELL — “A new day has begun.”
That was the reaction Friday from County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall, as he observed representatives of Southern Water and Sewer, H2O Construction and Drains Unlimited sign the contracts which officially put the Harold sewer project in motion.
Marshall said he is now counting the days until he can finally tell interested developers that the southern U.S. 23 corridor has water and sewer service available. Following a groundbreaking ceremony to be held in a few weeks, that day should come in less than a year.
“It’s been 14 years to this point,” a smiling Marshall said. “This is a milestone.”
“Hopefully, now we will attract some of the nice restaurants and maybe some more hotels and motels and some other businesses,” he said later.
The judge was not alone in his enthusiasm.
“I was real nervous this morning,” Southern Chairman Hubert Halbert said, once all the documents were signed. “It’s been so long coming, I thought this day would never get here.”
The $3 million in projects which began Friday will result in the construction of a new sewage treatment plant at Pike-Floyd Hollow and sewer lines extended to 155 customers in Betsy Layne and Stanville, initially. And that is only the beginning of a much larger effort to extend sewer service to 1,000 customers throughout the southern U.S. 23 corridor, from Mare Creek to the Pike County line.
Southern Board of Directors Chair Paula Johnson signed two sets of contracts on behalf of the utility, one with H20 Construction to build the treatment plant, and the other with Drains Unlimited to lay the lines. The two projects will begin simultaneously and are expected to be complete in as little as nine months.