Old Library Now Cape Charles Civic Center

Cape Charles Wave

April 28, 2014

Cape Charles Town Council voted April 24 to rename the former library at 500 Tazewell Avenue the Cape Charles Civic Center. Mayor Dora Sullivan and Councilman Frank Wendell favored the name Cape Charles Meeting Hall, but Councilman Steve Bennett proposed Cape Charles Civic Center, which won by majority vote.

The former library building was built in 1901 by the First Presbyterian Church. In 1926 the church built the large stone building on the corner of Strawberry and Tazewell now housing the Cape Charles Christian School, and the old church building was sold to the Northampton County Memorial Library for $5,000. The library opened in October 1926 in honor of World War Veterans. It was eventually turned over to the Friends of the Cape Charles library and the property was given to the town. In December 2012, the Cape Charles Memorial Library moved to the former Bank of America building on Mason Avenue.

The former library building will be used for Council meetings and work sessions; board and commission meetings; recreational programs, community events, civic engagement activities, and outreach programs.

In other business, Town Council voted to raise the lodging tax on short-term rentals by 23 percent and to remove the 1 percent funding for the ESVA Tourism Commission. Council will decide later how much to contribute to the Tourism Commission.

During a public hearing preceding the regular meeting, speakers pointed out that the vacation rental season has already begun and that changing the tax rate now would create a hardship for owners. As a result, Council made the new rate effective January 1, 2015, instead of July 1, 2014. The ordinance removes all references to the Annexation Agreement between the Town and Northampton County that was the authority for collection of transient occupancy tax by the county within Cape Charles, as well as references to state code authorizing the imposition of the tax.

Town Planner Robert Testerman reported that the Planning Commission sent its proposals for the Town Edge Overlay District to Northampton County but has not yet received a reply.  The new zoning ordinance proposed by the County does away with the Town Edge Districts. That proposal elicited a strongly worded resolution from Exmore Town Council (CLICK). During discussion whether Cape Charles should pass a similar resolution, Councilman Bennett said he thought that the Exmore resolution was too strongly worded. Mayor Sullivan agreed. Councilman Wendell again raised concerns about encouraging commercial development on Route 13 and failing to see the need for the Town Edge District to protect the town and its businesses.


Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek reported that the ESVA Public Service Authority has been exploring a limited Southern Node service area focused on the commercial properties around the Route 13 and Stone Road intersection. This proposal met with stiff resistance last fall from affected property owners who would have been in the special tax district, raising their real property taxes by 77 percent. The Board of Supervisors then voted to put the PSA proposal “on hold.”

Panek said that Hurt and Proffitt, the engineering firm contracted by the PSA, has been paid $70,000 for surveying in preparation for the Southern Node project that would use the Cape Charles wastewater treatment plant. If the Cape Charles option proves unfeasible, the Supervisors want the PSA to evaluate other treatment options such as expansion of the Bayview treatment plant, Panek said. Cape Charles has provided a cost estimate of $70,000 per year for wasterwater treatment for the proposed project. If the PSA requested other services such as meter reading and billing, the cost would rise to $100,000 per year, Panek reported.

Panek also said that the Supervisors created a subcommittee consisting of two Supervisors (Granville Hogg and Rick Hubbard), two PSA members (Bob Panek and Sean Ingram), and two Cape Charles Town Council members, with the purpose of negotiating treatment services by Cape Charles. Town Council will appoint its representatives following the May 6 elections.

Mayor Dora Sullivan presented the National Safe Boating Week Proclamation, and presented Cape Charles police officer Chelsea Pfeiffer with the National Police Week Proclamation.

Mayor Sullivan pres(Photo courtesy Rick Tomlin)

Mayor Sullivan presents National Police Week Proclamation to Officer Chelsea Pfeiffer, accompanied by Chief Jim Pruitt. (Photo courtesy Rick Tomlin)

National Police Week Proclamation



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