CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A day after the Charles Town City Council approved bonds for a sewer line to serve the controversial Rockwool insulation plant in Jefferson County, the Charles Town Building Commission also voted in favor of it.
The line would run along Route 9 to the site of the plant. The commission’s vote approved the issuance of bonds that would not exceed $16,000,000.
The plant’s construction has gained concerns from residents worried about the plant’s close proximity to three schools and potential environmental impacts. Some of those residents attended Tuesday evening’s meeting.
“We’re trying to create a hub of a line that would go up Route 9 to service that area,” said commissioner Keith Veler. “Not just for Rockwool itself, but a hub that different communities can connect into.”
Veler said the current sewer system is outdated and would not be able to support future growth in the area of the Rockwool site.
“This system that we currently have is a sewer system that is a bunch of separate little strings out there. More pump stations than needed, more lines than needed, runs lining side-by-side. It is the objective to gather those in to make it an appropriate system.”
Without the bond, officials would have had to rely on taxpayers to help pay off the bonds. Rockwool representatives previously told local officials they would build their own line if the proposed line was not approved.
“I don’t think that’s really fair on the taxpayers, because that just sends our utilities through the roof,” said Veler. “That’s not the only expense that would come along. There would be other rates (because) there is other projects. We’d have to add more money for other issues, adding more developments and things.”
The commission approved the bonds in a 3-1 vote. Commissioner Mary Ellen Mahoney did not attend the meeting.