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Town should be OK for Y2K

March 14, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Aside from a mix-up with a state survey, Shepherdstown Mayor Vince Parmesano said his town's water and sewer utilities will be ready for potential Y2K problems.

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Town officials were late returning a Y2K compliance survey requested by West Virginia's Public Service Commission last July after the completed survey "fell through the cracks," said Parmesano.

Shepherdstown was one of 223 West Virginia public utilities that did not return the surveys by March 11, according to the state Public Service Commission. The surveys were sent to 756 public and private utilities to gauge statewide readiness for the Y2K computer bug, in which machines may interpret the year 2000 as 1900.

Shepherdstown officials have been working with the Y2K Shepherdstown group to try and ensure water and sewer service in the event of a power failure, said Parmesano.

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"Our system is just old enough to still be mechanical, but our billing system is new enough that it doesn't have the Y2K bug. Our biggest issue is making sure we have continuity with our electrical systems," said Parmesano.

The town has been testing generators at its wastewater treatment plant weekly and will spend $2,500 to rewire circuitry at the town's water treatment plant to ensure backup power sources, said Parmesano.

The Shepherdstown water system serves an estimated 1,100 customers and the sewer system serves an estimated 550 customers in the town and surrounding subdivisions.

State Public Service Commission representatives said all of the major utilities that responded to the Y2K survey said they will be ready by the fall of 1999. A separate survey is under way of railroads operating in West Virginia.

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