The battle over who will construct sewer lines to the soon-to-be constructed Tygart Valley Regional Jail is all but over. And we think the decision that made that possible is the correct one.
Last week, Elkins Mayor Jimmy Hammond stated that city officials there have all but abandoned their plans to extend sewage lines to the future home of the regional jail facility.
"I won't completely rule it out, but we're probably not going to pursue it any further," Hammond said. "We got the engineering quotes, but we got into this so late it probably would have screwed up some things that (the town of) Junior had put together."
We agree with Hammond's assessment, particularly since Elkins did enter the game late. Also, it doesn't take a lot of common sense to figure that it would be a lot cheaper to build sewer infrastructure from Junior to the facility as opposed to Elkins, given the site of the jail.
Steve Canterbury, director of the state Regional Jail Authority, also prefers Junior's bid for the infrastructure application and that is a definite factor in favor of the Barbour County community.
Junior already filed an infrastructure application with the Public Service Commission in November. The PSC reviewed the application and attached comments before passing it on to the state Infrastructure Council for further review.
Junior officials will apply to the PSC for a certificate of need and necessity once the Infrastructure Council makes its decision.
So, to our way of thinking, the issue is basically a moot point at this time.
The town of Junior has agreed to further extend the sewer lines to a landfill and process leachate. This, according to Hammond, was Elkins' primary aim in its bid to extend its sewage lines.
All eight existing regional jails are connected to a nearby utility, Canterbury said. And that serves as another argument in Junior's favor.
We're thankful to see Elkins officials acquiesce on the issue so the regional jail can be built in a more timely fashion. The jail will serve a vital need in the region and its economic impact should not be discounted either.