POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County PSD’s sewage upgrades and expansion in the Lakin and Camp Conley areas aren’t just good news for these specific areas, but good news for the economic development of Mason County.
According to Randy Grinstead of the PSD, the system went online earlier this month. These upgrades have resulted in the system being able to process 350,000 gallons a day with the ability to double that capacity quickly if ever needed. The project began in 2012 and $7.5 million in loans and grants were obtained to finance it. Of course with all this progress comes a price - some of the costs will be passed down to PSD customers who will see higher rates, possibly in March. These new rate increases were previously advertised in a legal notice, Grinstead said.
With this new system comes major infrastructure improvements for Mason County. Including the ability to provide expanded service to the Lakin Correctional Facility. Grinstead said he was told by prison officials 69 additional prisoners can now be housed and would be soon. In addition to the Lakin area, expanded service and system capacity is also available near the county airport and of course Camp Conley - this means these sites are ripe for economic development.
“It’s competitive,”Grinstead said about attracting businesses. “You’ve got to be ready or lose.”
In Camp Conley, Grinstead said old sewer lines were relocated and a lot of even older problems were fixed - upgrading here was inevitable to simply maintain service. There’s a new sewer plant there as well with upgraded capacity.
The whole project began a few years ago when the state asked the PSD to remove the lagoon on its Lakin farm - the lagoon is used in waste management. With the lagoon gone, it would allow for more economic development of the area. In fact, dismantling the lagoon will be one of the last things done in terms of this upgrade for the PSD. Grinstead said that will be done when the weather is warmer and the material can be disposed of properly and the area reseeded with grass.
The PSD has 250 sewer customers and 5,600 water customers.
“We’re proud of our system…we’re ready for growth,” Grinstead said of a system that provides a service to customers and hopefully more jobs for the area.