Public workshop held for future of Rand drainage system

Public workshop held for future of Rand drainage system
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 11:45 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Tuesday marked a historic first for residents of Rand.

The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) held a public workshop at the Rand Community Center about the future of the area’s drainage system.

Residents said it is the first conversation with the public the agency’s had with the neighborhood as a whole in the 50 years a drainage system’s been needed.

Mack Reed said he is feeling encouraged by the developments.

“It’s gonna be positive, this is not gonna happen overnight, it’s a big fix,” Reed said. “We just got to be patient, you know?”

Residents had the chance to ask questions to people involved with the project. A formal presentation had not been planned for the meeting but DOH adjusted upon request from several community members.

A group question-and-answer portion about the project lasted about an hour during the workshop.

Jason Foster, chief engineer for development at DOH, said they were willing to make the change.

“There was a concern that some folks who had questions weren’t speaking up because they weren’t sure how the form and format would work,” he explained. “We wanted to make sure that the public had the best opportunity they could to give input and concerns, and we thought that would facilitate their responses and input.”

Both project leaders and community members alike said keeping the neighborhood involved is an important mark of progress on the project.

“What I take is that they’re appreciative that we’re here,” Foster said. “They’re also frustrated that it’s taking this long to get to get anyone to work on various aspects of the project, this is a tight-knit close community.”

“We can’t go back on negativity,” Reed said. “The past is past. We got, we got to go to the future.”

For a related investigation from WSAZ:

WSAZ Investigates | Flooded and Frustrated update