Mandatory Sewer Charges Pondered for Cheriton

Cape Charles Wave

March 13, 2013

Northampton County Board of Supervisors yesterday heard cost options for expanding sewer service into the County from the Cape Charles treatment plant.

County Executive Director Katie Nunez laid out various costs to the Supervisors, all of which entail running a pipeline from the new treatment plant near the Town Harbor to at least as far as Highway 13.

The Supervisors are interested in expanded sewage treatment to spur economic development in Northampton County.

Public Service Authority Chairman Bob Panek, who is also assistant town manager for Cape Charles, is promoting expanded sewerage as a way to reduce treatment costs. If fixed costs are shared by more customers, rates could be lower.

Cape Charles Town Council has tentatively given a go-ahead to explore expanded treatment options, despite concerns that commercial development on Highway 13 could compete with Town businesses.

Just how much a customer outside Cape Charles would pay for wastewater treatment remains unknown.

The PSA envisions extending service first to businesses near the Highway 13-Route 184 (Stone Road) intersection, as well as to Fairview Mobile Home Park. Infrastructure costs are estimated at $2 million.

Phase Two would extend service to Cheriton. Nunez said that Cheriton would need to enact a mandatory participation ordinance unless at least 80 percent of residents voluntarily requested service.

Nunez conceded that getting 80 percent of Cheriton residents to request sewage treatment was unlikely. But under a mandatory participation ordinance they would have no choice. [Read more…]