By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
June 27, 213
Cape Charles Town Council meets tonight (Thursday) to approve a budget with the biggest sewer rate increase in Town history. The minimum monthly sewer charge will rise from the current $35.45 to $60.85 – a 72 percent increase.
Town officials plead they have no other option than to drastically increase rates because there just aren’t enough users to create efficiencies at the Town’s new $19 million wastewater treatment plant.
Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek, who also acted as the Town’s chief consultant for construction of the wastewater plant, wants to create efficiencies by pumping in sewage from out of town, beginning with commercial properties on Route 13.
But Panek is ignoring the Town’s biggest potential customer – Bayshore Concrete Products. Located only hundreds of yards from the new wastewater treatment plant, Bayshore has never hooked up to Town water or sewer pipes.
Bayshore’s treasurer, John Chandler, told the Wave that his company had not given any thought to using Town utilities. When asked whether they would consider it, Chandler said, “There has been no analysis done.”
Town residences and businesses generally are required to use Town water and sewerage, and the Bayshore plant is inside Town limits.
The Wave asked Panek why Bayshore had not been compelled to connect to Town utilities. Panek said the reason is because there are no Town water or sewer lines within 100 feet of Bayshore property.
Panek also said that he did not think Bayshore Concrete uses very much water.
A 2007 Town map indicates that Bayshore Concrete had eight wells and five septic tanks at that time.
Research by the Wave reveals that in 2006 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined the Bayshore plant $39,000 for groundwater violations. [Read more…]
Stage Door Gallery, 301 Mason Avenue, invites the pubic to a complimentary wine and cheese reception 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29. [Read more…]