REPRINT: Northampton PSA Tries Again

March 9, 2013

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report on the Northampton Public Service Authority is reprinted by permission from SHORE LINE, published by Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. Whenever possible, the WAVE reprints articles from other sources concerning Cape Charles.)

After failing to attract grant funding for either an Exmore/Nassawadox project or a Cheriton-area project, the Northampton Public Service Authority (PSA) is proposing a smaller wastewater system for commercial areas around Cheriton and Cape Charles.

But a July, 2012, survey of area commercial property owners to gauge interest yielded a “poor response,” PSA Chair Bob Panek told the Northampton Supervisors in January.

Follow-up meetings in the fall of 2012 with 64 owners of 85 mostly vacant parcels yielded a “thin response” of five “yes,” four “no” and one “maybe” when asked about commercial sewage treatment, but the Fairview Mobile Home Park has expressed interest in connecting with any wastewater system in the area.

There is still no grant money available for a primarily commercial sewage treatment project. PSA proposals to the Supervisors for generating loans to construct a $1.5–$2 million system for commercial users in the Cheriton, Rt.13, Rt. 184 and Bayside Road area included:

  • A PSA loan with a County “moral obligation bond” guarantee;
  • A Special Tax District could be created in which the users would be taxed to fund the debt service over 20 years;
  • A county-wide tax rate increase on real estate to repay the construction loan; or
  • “Blending” the above funding options.

Construction costs and debt service would most likely be in addition to user hook-up fees and monthly fees for the costs of treatment at the Cape Charles treatment plant and operation and maintenance. [Read more…]