Plans for Cool Ridge

Mercer County Commissioner Bill Archer motions towards a chart discussing alternatives ways to deliver water to Cool Ridge at a Public Service District meeting at Camp Creek State Park in September 2019.

PRINCETON — Updating a water system serving about 30 McComas-area households and extending that service to another 15 is the goal on an ongoing project of the Mercer County Public Service Authority.

The Mercer County PSD is working to upgrade the McComas waterline’s equipment, according to Mike Kennett, the PSD’s chairman. The system will not have a new water source, but the system will be improved.

“Well, right now, it will be the same water source,” Kennett stated. “It’s from old abandoned mines, so it’s mine water. The water is really good. We’ve used it for years, but the last time the system was upgraded was in the early Seventies. This will upgrade the service we already have and extend service to the Conner Mountain area. There are approximately 12 to 15 homes up there.”

The PSD is also planning to upgrade the system with a 100,000-gallon water tank. This tank would be constructed on reclaimed mining land in the Conner Mountain area; the site was chosen for its elevation and proximity to where water feeds into the system, he said.

“You have to do that in order to take care of the fire hydrants and sustain the water supply,” Kennett said of the new tank. The PSD is working with the Region I Planning & Development Council on the project.

Besides benefiting McComas-area residents, the improved system could help with development near the Hatfield- McCoy Trail, he said.

County Commissioner Bill Archer said bids were being sought for the water system.

“They’re working with Region I, and they’re in the process of looking for bids on the project,” he said. “It’s actually a pretty neat project to go into an area that could be developed for housing; and it’s beautiful ground up there and they have good access to quality water already. I do know it’s a project with that has really good potential.”

The Mercer County PSD is also working to get water up to consumers in the Nubbins Ridge and Stovall Ridge areas as well as the Camp Creek area, Archer said.

“And, of course, one of their main projects is to take over the wastewater treatment plant at Matoaka,” Archer said, “We’re still about 30 or 40 days away from a circuit court ruling that will transfer that operation from the Town of Matoaka to the Mercer County PSD.”

Contact Greg Jordan at

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