Town Businesses Urge Halt to Highway Sewer Line

Cape Charles Wave

August 23, 2013

Just as Town and County authorities were running full speed ahead on plans to pipe sewage from Route 13 into Cape Charles, the Town Business Association has asked Mayor Dora Sullivan “to put the matter on hold.”

Vocal members of the Cape Charles Business Association had already told Mayor Sullivan what they thought of the plan at their meeting July 23. But now Association President George Proto has put it in writing.

“There does not appear to be any significant benefit to the Town of Cape Charles from the proposed connection,” Proto wrote the mayor August 19. Instead, “There does appear to be a potential long term downside for the town in terms of the availability of future capacity, even with plant expansion, to contain demand as the town expands through the build out of Bay Creek and as more properties in town are renovated and occupied.”

Business Association Vice President Andy Buchholtz put it more bluntly to the mayor last month: Providing sewerage to the highway “totally promotes growth on [Route] 13,” he said. “The County should be helping drive business into town.”

President Proto listed the following reasons not to pipe county sewage to Cape Charles:

— Based on discussions with Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek, the reduction in sewer charges to Town residents “is believed to be minimal”;

— No technical benefits (such as reduction in noxious odors from the treatment plant) have been identified;

— Accepting sewage from out of town “might cause us to run out of capacity even with expansion,” which “could unduly burden future generations financially”;

— A more cost-effective solution for the County is “to design an expandable county system that could better meet future needs”;

— And finally, a survey of 64 property owners on Route 13 “showed minimal interest (5 yes’s and 4 maybe’s out of 64 surveyed).”

“Given these concerns the business association urges the town council to put the matter of the PSA [Public Service Authority] line on hold and not to proceed with further work which would commit the town and expend county funds,” Proto wrote. [Read more…]