County Sewer Hookup Fee Could Be ‘Game Changer’

Owners of yellow properties on special tax district map have informed the PSA that they don’t want to be included. Owners of the green properties, currently not included, say they want to join. The rest of the proposed tax district is shown in purple. (CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW)

Cape Charles Wave

October 25, 2013

Plans to pipe sewage to Cape Charles from commercial properties  near the Cape Charles/Cheriton traffic light have hit another snag: hookup fees.

Chairman Bob Panek informed fellow members of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Public Service Authority October 15 that Cape Charles Town Council wants to charge connection fees to new users of the Town’s sewer treatment plant. But PSA calculations had always assumed no connection fee. The fees could add $200,000 to costs, which according to Panek could be a “game changer.”

Hookup fees are intended to cover future costs of expanding the Cape Charles treatment plant, and every new user in the Town is required to pay the fee. The current residential sewer hookup charge for Town customers is $7,475. But Panek had not planned to charge out-of-town customers.

Panek also reported sentiment for allowing County property owners to opt out of the proposed special tax district.  As originally formulated, some 70 parcels were included in the district, each of which would pay close to double their current County real estate tax.  But of those 70 properties, only about 30 are developed.

Panek alluded to discussion over changing the source of funding for construction of the sewer pipe from the County properties to Cape Charles. The County has already budgeted to pay 25 percent of the cost, with the remaining 75 percent coming from landowners in the special tax district.  Panek said that figure might possibly be changed to 50-50, meaning that half the cost would come from the County budget, and half would come from the special tax district. [Read more…]