- Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 22:55
- Published on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 22:55
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After at least five years of consideration and delays, the $7,300,000-plus Drum Bay, Tidwells and Glebe Harbor sewer project is well on the way to becoming a reality for 2,465 wastewater collection service customers. A letter of conditions addressed to Westmoreland County Administrator Norm Risavi on March 27 announced Rural Development’s intention to fund the project.
On April 20 prospective customers gathered at the Glebe Harbor subdivision club house to hear from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, who characterized the initiative as an Earth Day partnership between Westmoreland County, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government.
“Support for infrastructure projects like these helps the environment, improves the lives of rural residents and ensures
that rural communities have modern, up to date facilities,” he said.
The project will connect homes as far away as Glebe Harbor subdivision to Coles Point’s wastewater treatment plant. Lines originating in Glebe Harbor will cross Tidwells and the old Drum Bay subdivision before reaching the facility in Coles Point. In addition to collection lines, the project will require two pump stations and the addition of a three million gallon wastewater storage basin at the existing sewage treatment facility.
County Administrator Norm Risavi explained that the corner store at Erica is unable to operate without wastewater treatment infrastructure. The absence of that business establishment caused nearby watermen to travel extended distances in order to purchase gasoline to fuel their boats. Risavi additionally advised that the project will serve 450 homes. He additionally explained that letters will be sent to prospective sewer customers as soon as the county completes its work on the 2012-2013 budget.
The March 27 letter of conditions from Rural Development became available to this reporter on April 24. The document provides details of anticipated construction costs and the debt retirement schedule.
The stated bottom line cost is $7,331,600, of which $5,631,600 has been offered in the form of a two percent interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development funding agency. Other funding will consist of the county’s $350,000 contribution and the $1,350,000 derived from connection fees the county expects to collect from the new system’s customers. Homeowners will pay $3,000 in order to connect. In addition to the project’s 2,400 residential customers, 25 businesses are expected to connect.
According to the March 27 document of record, actual construction will cost $5,685,100. Land and right-of-way acquisition will cost an additional $265,000. $568,500 will be held in contingency in order to provide for unanticipated costs. $20,000 will be budgeted to cover legal fees and bond counsel. $523,000 will be allocated to cover basic and additional project engineering. Inspection of construction activity will add $150,000 to the costs and interest on the construction is listed as $120,000. The interest will be repaid during the first two years of the forty-year debt retirement schedule.
Following the debt retirement schedule’s first two years of interest payments, the county will be expected to make 456 monthly payments in the amount of $17,684.00.
The funding is conditioned on the county’s ability to deliver evidence that the system will have 2,465 customers who have signed the user agreement that obligates them to pay the connection costs and the yet to be established monthly user fees. According to previously available schematics, collection lines will cross Glebe and Lower Machodoc creeks in order to reach the Coles Point treatment plant.