Cape Charles Endorses Highway Sewer Hookups

Cape Charles Wave

August 10, 2012

The Cape Charles Town Council voted August 9 to provide capacity for the proposed “southern node” of a regional wastewater treatment system. If built, the new sewer lines will serve the strip of commercial properties on Route 13 from SunTrust Bank running south to the Corner Mart and out to the Fairview Mobile Home Park.

“This is a starter system that could be expanded if grant funding becomes available,” said Bob Panek, assistant town manager and chairman of the Public Service Authority that is seeking to build the regional system.

Frank Wendell was the only Council member voting against accepting the Route 13 sewage. He pointed to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, which envisions a protected gateway into Cape Charles, preserving the rural viewshed.

“You ride down front street [Mason Avenue] and you see an empty grocery store, and another one coming into town,” said Wendell, who believes that more commercial development on nearby Route 13 will have a negative impact on local businesses.

Mayor Dora Sullivan recommended that the Town provide Wendell with a history of the Council’s decisions about water and sewer issues.

“We need to get you these notes,” she said. “Because we’ve been doing this for years.”



5 Responses to “TOWN COUNCIL
Cape Charles Endorses Highway Sewer Hookups”

  1. Roger L. Munz on August 11th, 2012 10:57 am

    From an economic as well as a planning viewpoint this seems counter to the Town’s needs and best interest. During my four years on the Planning Commission, the development of Mason Avenue business was paramount. Has that changed in the past four months? In voting for this, the Town Council may have opened a Pandora’s box that they will find increasingly harder to close as time passes. The Town Council needs to consider today’s decision in light of future consequences. Sometimes things are not what they seem; one must look under today’s information for underlying causes — a result of the world we find ourselves living in. Sometimes going for the $$ in the short term leaves you with a long-term problem. I would think changing the blanket concept to one granted on a case-by-case basis as the need arises would allow greater control and management.

  2. Marita Patterson on August 11th, 2012 3:08 pm

    Was there any public comment at the meeting?

    (Yes — look for the Wave’s further Council report on Monday — EDITOR)

  3. Bob Meyers on August 11th, 2012 3:33 pm

    Congratulations, you have taken a big step toward becoming the business size & quality of downtown Cheriton. Isn’t sewage a wonderful vehicle? At least Roger seems to have a grasp on the issues at stake.

  4. S J Walker on August 11th, 2012 9:36 pm

    Long term thinking isn’t happening here. Cape Charles providing sewer service for commercial development on the highway? A new hotel at the light, then why would anybody drive into town? Put up a Chili’s or a TGIF, and there goes your pub, and probably a couple of restaurants. A little strip mall with a gift shop, a beauty shop and a specialty food store, and there goes half of Mason Ave. A Rite Aid drug store? That would be the end of Rayfields. And pigs will be flying over the marina before your sewer and water bills go down just because you have a few new customers. What were you thinking?

  5. Andy Spagnuolo on August 13th, 2012 7:14 am

    I believe we do not want to replicate what exists in Exmore at the expense of more business development in Cape Charles. So on that note I tend to agree with the concerns noted by others. What is the motive behind expanding service to Route 13? Is it the desire to add service to an under-utilized system thereby bringing down costs for all customers? If so, has a business case analysis or study been considered or acted upon to ensure that increasing the customer base beyond Cape Charles and Bay Creek Community leads to reduced costs? What comes to mind is the intensive infrastructure that would be required to serve others beyond the Town and Bay Creek, i.e., right-of-way issues, environmental impact, piping, number of pumping stations and thier construction, life cycle and associated maintenance costs. In consideration of the limited customer base beyond the Town’s boundaries, the capital investment and life cycle costs could result in no advantage in customer cost reduction. This plan needs to be vetted.