SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Water line issues have caused a slight delay in Smith Fastener's move to South Charleston, Mayor Frank Mullens told members of the South Charleston Economic Development Authority this week.
The nuts and bolts company announced earlier this year that it planned to move its distribution center from Kanawha City, where it has been since 1971, to the site of the former FMC hydrogen peroxide plant in South Charleston.
Jim Smith, president of Smith Fastener Co. Inc., said in February the company had outgrown its MacCorkle Ave. site and needed to build a bigger facility.
The company broke ground at the FMC site earlier this, and construction had proceeded unabated until the company prepared to begin tapping into the local water lines.
While West Virginia American Water will be providing water service to the company, the existing water lines that Smith Fastener plans to tap into are still owned by FMC.
Mullens said the company can not proceed with further construction until the water company works out a deal to buy the water lines from FMC in order to provide service through them.
"That's the elephant in the room," Mullens said.
Water company spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the company had reached out to FMC four years ago and offered to purchase the lines, but a deal was never struck.
She said West Virginia America Water has been providing water service to existing businesses that were already connected through the FMC lines. The issue in this case, however, is creating a new tap on the FMC system.