New Haven looking at scaling back water project

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

NEW HAVEN — New Haven town council members are attempting to scale back on a $6 million water project that has been the target of controversy for many months.

Mayor Jerry Spradling stated in the most recent council meeting that members met with representatives of Chapman engineers and “took a lot out of the project.” He said approximately one-third was cut from the original plan.

It was noted however, that the town must go through the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council for approval prior to the cuts becoming official. Town council members are hoping to reduce the project to around $3 million.

Councilman Matt Shell said the council will not move forward with the project until the town and engineers are in agreement on another sticky subject – that of street restoration. He said the town is wanting the affected streets paved and not simply patched. Since the funding has already been approved for $6 million, it was suggested requesting the full amount in order to pave the streets.

Kathy Elliott of Region II Planning and Development attended to request drawdown number seven for the project. The drawdown was approved for the Bureau of Public Health in the amount of $129.50.

Police Chief Dave Hardwick said he has a potential full-time officer, pending a clear background check. The officer is fully certified and would be commuting from approximately 45 minutes away. The council gave the chief the go-ahead to pursue the new employee. Hardwick also said he might have a part-time officer, as well.

Building permits were approved for four residents. They include Ralph Thompson, new structure; York Ingels, replace driveway; Steven Greene, replace porch; and John Smith, new roof.

In other action, the council:

Approved the holiday schedule for 2017, going by the state schedule, and including 12 holidays in which the city building will be closed;

Announced a Christmas light contest with three prizes in a single category (more information to be released at a later date);

Thanked those who organized and were involved in the recent town Veterans Day ceremony;

Heard a report from Shell that the state Division of Environmental Protection has reduced the town’s fine of $30,000 by $6,000 after several items at the wastewater plant were replaced or fixed; and,

Approved the financial report, accounts payable, and minutes of the previous meeting.

Attending were Mayor Spradling, Recorder Roberta Hysell, and council members Shell, James Elias, George Gibbs and Grant Hysell.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at