Members of the Cape Charles Town Council hammered Harbormaster Charlie Farlow and Public Works Director Dave Fauber over perceived breakdowns in the maintenance and repair of town infrastructure. While council initially queried Farlow about the layout and confusing structure of the harbor financial report, the discussion switched to the mammoth potholes that populate the Shanty parking lot. Councilman Buchholz asked why the lot was allowed to get so bad, and who was responsible for maintaining it. Farlow noted that they had been trying to schedule lot maintenance, but so far had been unable to book a time to use the town tractor.
With Public Works Director Fauber in the hot seat, Buchholz continued to hammer away at what he considered to be the town’s slack approach to maintenance. Buchholz pointed out that the public trash cans, especially those at the beach boardwalk and pier were particularly offensive. “When was the last time they were power washed,” Buchholz asked. Fauber answered that they are cleaned on a regular basis.
Mayor Proto and Buchholz were both concerned about the end of the boardwalk nearest the Shanty, which has still not been completed. Buchholz stated that not only was it aesthetically not pleasing, it also posed a safety problem. Fauber and Farlow both confirmed that they were told by the Army Corps of Engineers not to work on that portion of the boardwalk until the dredging was completed.
“Hasn’t the dredging been over for over a month?” Buchholz asked. While town staff agreed that the dredging had been finished for some time, they could not confirm when the work would be completed.
Buchholz also complained that part of the railing on the Central Park Gazebo is rotting, and he would like to see it repaired before the holidays.
“Look, the town is about to really blow up (grow), so we can’t have…we can’t keep letting these things slide like this. I’m not trying to pick on any of you, but why are we not able to handle this?” Buchholz asked.
Councilwoman Natali stated that one of the reasons may be that Public Works has been down one or two men for the last several months. Fauber confirmed that they are still in the process of hiring an additional worker. Buchholz questioned whether adding just one person would be enough. He noted that with increased summer tourist traffic, now was not the time to let the town fall into disarray, and that hiring additional workers might be prudent.
Natali stated that with budget sessions soon to begin, staff increases should be part of the agenda. The possibility of hiring seasonal, flex workers was also discussed.