County Halts Support of PSA Highway Sewer Project

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

County Board Room was nearly full for Monday night’s public hearing. “Usually only about five people show up for County meetings,” observed Supervisor Larry LeMond. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

September 24, 2013

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.

Some 20 speakers addressed the Supervisors, only one of whom was in favor of the plan to tax and charge commercial property owners to pipe sewage to the Cape Charles treatment plant.

Randall also had a message for persons unhappy with Public Service Authority Chairman Bob Panek, who masterminded the sewer scheme. “The Board of Supervisors does not appoint town representatives to the PSA,” Randall clarified. “Folks not happy need to talk to their town council.”

Randall also stressed that the PSA is “an independent body – the only power we have over the PSA is funding, and they’re not going to be funded.”

Randall seemed unaware that the Board of Supervisors had already funded the PSA to the tune of $130,000. Informed of this by a reporter, he insisted that the money had come from a grant, not from the County budget. But when a reporter from the Eastern Shore News repeated the question, he turned to County Administrator Katie Nunez and asked, “That was grant money, right?”

“No,” Nunez responded – “that’s County money.”

As the Wave reported earlier, PSA members voted unanimously September 16 to approve a $70,000 contract with the engineering firm Hurt & Proffitt to begin surveying the sewer project. A Hurt & Proffitt survey team has been observed working in the vicinity this past week.

Among the speakers at the public hearing in Eastville was the new CEO for A&N Electric Cooperative Dodd Obenshain, who complained that two of the 68 properties included in the proposed special tax district belong to ANEC and are used for substations. “We have no need for water or sewer for a substation,” Obenshain said, requesting that the ANEC properties be exempted from the special district to avoid paying a higher tax. [Read more…]


Some New Bayshore Concrete Jobs Depend on Winning Bids


September 23, 2013

Following the Wave’s report September 21 that Bayshore Concrete Products would be hiring 300-400 workers, Bayshore treasurer John Chandler has requested a clarification. The 300-400 worker figure would be the total number of employees at Bayshore, and is dependent on winning bids.

Chandler said that Bayshore Concrete has won contracts for the Great Egg Harbor Bridge in New Jersey and the Bayonne Bridge between Bayonne, NJ, and Staten Island, NY. These contracts will bring 100 new jobs to the area, he said.

Chandler said that bids are still out for the Tappan Zee Bridge project. If Bayshore wins the contract to make spans for the Tapan Zee Bridge, 50-100 more workers could be hired.

Chandler clarified that gearing up for the Great Egg Harbor and Bayonne projects will be done through “trickle hiring of 10 to 20 people at a time” as the project progresses. Those projects are expected to keep employee levels up for two years.

Bayshore has requested permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to construct new piers to  accept larger barges, allowing Bayshore to bid jobs for larger concrete products. The request, made last May, has not yet been approved.