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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
January 2, 2001     The Hinton News
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January 2, 2001

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"T.  r ?-. .=# The HINTON NEWS (Continuing the Hinton Daily News 8, "[he Weekend Leader) Home of the W. Va. Water Festival Volume 98 No. 38 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday Jan. 2, 2001. 40 Cents Hydropower on Bluestone Dam New River Parkway rrival for 21 st Centu ry Highways has announced that it will from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the hold an informational public County Commission Room on the By Fred Long The potential for hydroelectric power on Bluestone Dam will finally be realized with the insulation of seven turbines churning out electricity daily and paying royalties to the Tri-Cities Power Authority that will then be pumped back into economic development programs for 50 years, Hinton Mayor James A. Leslie said Friday morning. "Just as it took an act of Congress ito authorize the construction of -Bluestone Dam," he said during the news conference at City Hall, "it has taken an act of Congress to fulfill the development of hydropower on Bluestone Dam." Eleven years ago the Tri-Cities Power Authority, composed of i Hinton, White Sulphur Springs and .Philippi, began investigating the :feasibility of installing power :generating facilities at the Dam. It :was a goal that many had sought in :the past and one of the twin purposes in mind when President Roosevelt , authorized its construction. But the hydropower :potential was never realized and ...--.could..never. he.obtained until now. On .Dec. 11, in one of his last acts before leaving office, President Clinton signed into law the 2000 Water Resource Development Act. This federal legislation," Leslie announced, permit[s] the private investment of funds by the Tri-Cities Power Authority to design and After a decade of endeavor, an act of Congress has opened the door for hydroelectric power generating facilities on Bluestone Dam; and, when the wheels start turning, it will provide a new source of revenue and endless economic growth potential fur the next 80 years. construct a hydroectric generating facility on Bluestone Dam." For the past 11-years the six member Power Authority Board, which includes Leslie and Councilman Larry Meador, has invested over $1 million, he said, "to bring hydropower to Bluestone J | Sulect from inception to | etion and make a boundary | Hinto placing the Bluestone I __ |  Les.h&apos;e holds | onference at City Hall II De Tri-Cities ' | uthority has been selected :  II B financial i . | Dr for the development of :.. | r on Bluestone , /, | S ". sonly the third time ; in-federal financial  .|onsor has been approved .  |or the construction of . !',!  .Philippi and ,I White Sulphur a hydro-power project of this type. .......... Dec. 1992: A preliminary study '  , |,Spri' :,for the development of to evaluate the feasibility of the .. ;' !ii;' .|: dletn'ClDam. power on Bluestone hydro-project begins. meeting concerning the New River Parkway on Thursday, January 11, in the cafeteria of the Summers County High School. The meeting is scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will be conducted in a workshop format. The purpose of the meeting is to present four options for right-of-way acquisition that will be studied in a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. These options entail different levels of property acquisition which are intended to provide a means of long-term resource protection. Highways personnel will be on hand to present information and receive public input. Public comments on the right-of- way options may be submitted at the meeting or mailed during the comment period to the following address: Jim Sothen, P.E., Director, Engineering Division, West Virginia Division of Highways, Capitol Complex Building Five, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, West Virginia 25305- 0430. Comments should be Dam" and the economic stimulant it saying another press Conference 2001. will give the county. Leslie estimated the construction period to take anywhere from 24 to 30 months, at a cost of around $60 million. "The work force will be between 150 and 200 jobs" during would be held in Feb. to explain financing, but did say the Power Authority would either obtain bond money or private investments to cover its $60 million price tag. Federal law calls for the Tri-Cities In addition to the meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m., Highways representatives will join with officials of the Federal Highway Administration for an open forum construction, he said, and probably second floor of the Summers County Courthouse. This open forum will provide citizens an additional. opportunity to meet with officials and expand the time available to discuss the proposed project. The scheduling of these public meetings has resulted in the postponement of the regular monthly meeting of the New River Parkway Authority. The January meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 16, and will be held at Tamarack in Beckley beginning at 7:00 p.m. The February meeting will return to the first Monday, February 5, and this meeting will be held at the Summers County Memorial Building in Hinton. The monthly meetings of the New River Parkway Authority are open to the public. Citizen input has been and continues to be important to the development of the New River Parkway. These public meetings are part of the efforts being made to address the hopes and concerns of prolmry owners, state and federal i.gecir and the-ommunity  large. Citizens interested in the New River Parkway and its potential impact on the community are encouraged to attend and/or to submit their views during the" comment period. Power Authority to enter into an various groups including parents of eligible youth, eligible youth, persons with experience relating to youth activities, local WIB members, local housing authority, Job Corp, and other appropriate persons. Participants on the county team need to be committed to attending monthly county meetings and be able to articulate the views of he various groups they represent. CountT teams will have a facilitator, an agenda, and a process for hearing from everyone. If you are willing to commit the time needed for monthly meetings and other activities that will be related to the duties of a county team, please attend a meeting on January 9, 2001, in the Summers County High School Library from 8:00-9:00 A. M. In case school is closed, the meeting will be the next Tuesday. If you are interested in participating, but the time or date is not convenient for you, please notify me, Sarah Brown, at 466-6009 or e-mail me at and I will keep you informed of any events. 4, 1990: Council holds t for the first reading ordimmce to enter into an agreement creating the Hinton - White Sulphur Springs -' Philippi Power Authority was approved following -en executive session. Each city agrees to share equally in the cost to develop power and share equally in any revenue generated by the facility. Jan. 16, 1990: Hinton approves the inter-governmental agreement on second reading. Similar agreements are approved in Philippi and White Sulphur Springs and the Tri-Cities Power Authority is created. The six member board of directors will have two members from each municipality. Jan. 14, 1991: Mayor Leslie holds a press conference at City announcing that the Tri- Cities Power. Authority has secured a venture capital firm, Anker Power Projects, Inc., fOr construction and will enter into a contract with the Huntington office of the Army Corps of Engineers. Feb. 4, 1991: The City of Hinton and County Commission enter into a joint resolution calling for the City to share equally with the County its share of any revenue derived from hydroelectric power developed on Bluestone Dam through the Power Authority Board. The County Commission agrees to share equally with the 1993: The preliminary study is completed and a comprehensive feasibility study, economic study and environmental study begins. The cost $305.000. Feb. 1994: Environmental study turned over to federal agencies for comment. Aug. 8, 1994: The comprehensive feasibility study, prepared by the Corps of Engineers, is released. At natural flow of the river the study estimates energy benefit could be as much as $5.2 million a year based on the instillation of three turbines. It is also announced that federal agencies want more "in- depth" studies performed. They are "reluctant to support power development at Bluestone, of any kind." Oct. 1996: Leslie says SEPA (South Eastern Power Administration), an Atlanta based federal government power broker, has agreed to sell all power produced at Bluestone Dam and 1st Union Bank (the sixth largest banking institution in the U. S.) will finance the $60 million construction cost. 1997, 1998, 1999: Attempts are made by the Tri-Cities Power Authority to satisfy federal agencies' concerns without success. Dec. 11, 2000: President Clinton signs the Water Resource Development Act authorizing the Tri-Cities Power Authority to proceed with construction. By Fred Long The announcement, Friday morning, that hydroelectric power on Bluestone Dam is assured caps the old year and welcomes the new year with one more economic development on the horizon for Summers County. Mayor Ilie and City Councilman Larry Meador, members of the Tri-Cities Power Authority Board of Directors, have both worked hard to push this project along and have proved that persistency pays off. With all the work envisioned for Bluestone Dam over the next several years Hinton may just become a boom town again. --<---- Church services at the Hinton Area Community Center, on 2nd Ave., have been extended to two days a week. They will be held Sunday at 11:30 am and Thursday at 7:30 pin. vVe are outreach ministries,  said Rev. Michael G. McCray of Beckley. "Outreach warriors reaching out to the unsaved/ McCray asked to use the Community Center for his evangelist service after learning that the Second Baptist Church on James St. had closed. .- -- -$ -- -- -<-  -- % We now have a new sheriff in office, Garry Wheeler; a new county commissioner, Jerry Berry; a new county prosecutor, Jim McNeely; and a new county magistrate, Jack Hellems. We welcome all of you aboard. It will he interesting to watch the next few months of the political process of win, can't win. The only advise this writer can give The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 is having and will .continue to have great impact upon the way training is provided and received by the public. This act provides the framework for national workforce preparation and for an employment system designed to meet the needs of the nation's businesses, job seekers, and those who want to further their careers. Information about the act can be found on the Internet at http'J / Runningtext2.htm One of the components of WIA is the Regional Youth Council. The Regional Youth Councils are made up of representatives from each county in the region. The Regional Council is responsible for coordinating youth activities in the region, developing portions of the local plan related to eligible youth, recommending eligible youth service providers in accordance with WIA section 123, conducting oversight with respect to eligible providers of youth activities, and carrying out other duties as authorized by the chair of the Local Workforce Investment Board. Summers County is in a region with Raleigh, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Webster, and Nicholas Counties. Representatives from these counties have been meeting in Raleigh County since September. In order to do the required work of the Youth Council, a structure has been designed to create a manageable organization. Each of the eleven counties is establishing their' own county team. The role of the county teams will be to give feedback to the Regional Youth Council. 'These teams will be responsible for conducting Service Provider Surveys and youth assessments, for identifying gaps in services/ resources, and for making recommendations to the Regional Council on wht needs to be done to create a comprehensive youth service system in their county. Efforts will be made to include on the county team representation from SUMMERS YOUTH COUNCIL is to never betray your public trust, be honest-- straight forward when dealing with public issues. Never forget that you are now a servant of the people. Take time to communicate with them and learn from them what the majority want. You can't please them all, but if you can please the majority you're doing a good job. Christmas for our children. The "Adopt A Familf' program is just one of the ways that Talcott School promotes the virtues of sharing, caring and togetherness among its students. For Halloween 2000 the school held its annual "Class Parties  and part of the festivities consisted of a example of how a school should promote good old fashioned virtues to our future leaders.  The parents and local residents of The Talcott School area are very proud to announ tlat the staff and students ot f ott School participated in ie'Adopt A Family Program  for Christmas 2000. fourtofive"permanentjobs"forthe agreement with the U. S. Secretary Talcott's "Adopt A Family Pro!ram" day-to-day operation. of Energy, "acting through the But some of the cost will overlap Southeastern , Power " with two other major modification Administration, to design and By: Arietta DuPre "walk around the gym. " projects: the safety assurance construct the facilities within four TALCOTT, WV - At least 78 All the students assembled in the project that will increase the height years "after the date of such children in the Talcott School area gym and each class paraded around of the dam 13-feet and make agreement and reimburse the had a brighter Christmas thanks to the room to receive applause from modifications to the existing Secretary for any cost associated the parents and local residents that fellow students, staff, parents, and penstocks; and, the trash anddebris with the project, joined with the staff and students guests. Activities like these help project. Leslie said the Power Also, once completed, the Power of Talcott School and participated in encourage our children to support Authority and the federal Authority must transfer ownership the "Adopt A Family Program  for each other as well as supporting the government would share in the cost of the facilities to the Corps of Christmas 2000. community. for any modifications that Engineers. The United States will The .school adopted 30 families I would like to extend a special overlapped each other, operate and maintain the facilities. (76 children), lJroviding each family THANKS to Pete Tabor, Mike Tabor, However, he said, "there will be , The Southeastern Power with enough ham & food to grace and all Talcott Stafffor advising me no federal, state or city tax dollars Administration, an Atlanta based each table with not only a of the schools activities and for expended for the development of federal government power broker, scrumptious but a nutritious allowing my son (who is not yet in hydropower on Bluestone Dam." will market the power and pay the Christmas Dinner. . school) the opportunity to attend the Leslie declined to elaborate, Continued on page 2 We hope everyone in Summers "class parties  as a guest of his County will share in congratulating cousins. This and That Talcott Schoors staff and students All of Summers County should for a job very well done, and for feel pride in the fact that we can tell helping preserve the meaning  of others "Falcott School is a shining