Low-Income Residents in Bayview Face $100 Water Bills

Alice Coles, head of Bayview Citizens for Social Justice, is relieved that Northampton County is taking over the water and sewer system — but worried that residents won’t be able to pay.

Cape Charles Wave

July 19. 2012

After 10 years of negotiations, recriminations and deterioration, Northampton County finally owns the Bayview water and sewer systems. That means 71 low-income households will be charged about $104 per month for service — a price many likely can’t afford.

“We will shut down service if we are not paid,” said Northampton County Administrator Katie Nuñez. “It’s not pleasant and we don’t want to do it. But for the past six years the county has been paying for that system.”

Nuñez said that between 2009 and 2011, Northampton taxpayers subsidized the Bayview operation to the tune of $117,350. Bayview Citizens for Social Justice (BCSJ) will be forgiven $35,000 in delinquent real estate taxes in exchange for ownership or easements on five key parcels.

Alice Coles, executive director of BCSJ, is both relieved and disturbed by the transaction.

“The county was supposed to take over the system 30 days after it was built, by signed agreement,” said Coles. “But we ended up being responsible for it. We had no one trained to run the equipment. The systems began to fail.”

Since 1998, BCSJ has received $11 million in grants and loans to replace the shacks and outhouses that once characterized the neighborhood. They bought 160 acres near Cheriton, and built roads, houses, a laundromat, offices, and a community center.

In 2002, BCSJ got $1.7 million in state and federal money to build some roads and a sewer system for 94 units. Operating costs were supposed to come from monthly payments by the users.

For those units that received Section 8 assistance, utilities were included in the rent. But for the 23 households not government controlled, the situation was quite different.

“They made efforts to pay,” said Coles. “But most were delinquent.” [Read more…]

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WAVY-TV News Report on Old School Controversy

Old school building sold for $10: wavy.com

To watch the WAVY news report, click “Read more” to enter full story; then click the PLAY button.


July 18, 2012

The WAVY Channel 10 news crew ventured across the bridge today to film a story about the controversy surrounding the Town of Cape Charles decision to sell the old school, basketball court, and parking lot adjoining Central Park to a private developer for $10.

The developer intends to convert the school into a 17-unit apartment building.

WAVY-10 interviewed Town Manager Heather Arcos as well as the president of Old School Cape Charles LLC, Wayne Creed. Old School Cape Charles is a legal entity formed by residents intent on saving the school for public use as a community center.

Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan declined to be interviewed on camera.

The story aired during the 6 p.m. news on Wednesday on both WAVY-10 and FOX-43.

To watch the WAVY news report, click “Read more” to enter full story; then click the PLAY button.