CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Monday evening he’ll ask council members Tuesday night to approve funding for the city’s own water testing program in connection with the water emergency.
“I’m going to ask them to fund some testing in the city of Charleston with our own funds from the City of Charleston,” Mayor Jones told CNN host Jake Tapper.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced WV TAP last week. That’s a state-financed independent water testing program. Two of the original 10 samples are coming from homes in Kanawha County. Mayor Jones said that’s not enough.
“We’re going to go into hotels and some people’s homes and it’s going to be significant,” Jones said of the city testing program. “Our brand has been damaged by this.”
The city estimates it lost thousands of dollars in tax revenue during the Do Not Use water order that began Jan. 9 as hotels emptied out and businesses closed. The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is concerned about drawing future events to the city. It has already started an advertising campaign.
Kanawha County school officials closed Grandview Elementary School in Charleston early Monday because the licorice smell was reported. Some teachers said their eyes were burning. Licorice is associated with MCHM, the chemical that spilled into the Kanawha River from the Freedom Industries site that started the water emergency. The school’s water was retested and the flushing protocol will take place again.