PSA Moves Ahead with Sewer Plans Despite Public Outcry

County Board Room was nearly full Monday night; "usually only about five people show up," observed Supervisor Larry LeMond. (Wave photo)

File photo of September 23 public hearing, after which Northampton Supervisors voted to table any further action on the PSA. Public opposition to a special sewer tax district was almost unanimous.

Cape Charles Wave

December 20, 2013

“County Halts Support of PSA Highway Sewer Project,” read the Wave headline last September 24. “After hearing an hour of public opposition Monday night to creating a special sewer tax district, Northampton County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to table the issue. ‘We heard you, we listened, there will be no action on this plan until we get a better understanding of what to do,’ announced BOS Chairman Willie Randall.” (Click for story.)

Three months later, with November elections out of the way, it’s back to business for the PSA (Eastern Shore of Virginia Public Service Authority). At its December 17 meeting the PSA approved a memo to the County Supervisors that belies any awareness of being put “on hold.”

The only reference in the memo to the September public hearing is that “comments were received that spoke against being included in the district.” The memo then lists 12 “Parcels to be Excluded” as well as four “Parcels to be Included” as modifications to the proposed special tax district.

The memo also flags two parcels owned by Northampton Mini Storage that are included in the tax district. “While we have not heard from the property owners relative to their positions on this project, the Board may wish to consider removing these two parcels since they have nominal wastewater usage today and are fully developed in their respective business capacity,” the memo states.

Before the September public hearing, the Board of Supervisors budgeted to pay 25 percent of the proposed sewer project, with property owners in the affected area responsible for the remaining 75 percent.  The PSA memo advises that excluding additional parcels “will result in a higher [tax] burden on the remaining parcels.” [Read more…]