As Northampton County continues to weigh joining the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Exmore citizen Ken Dufty has also been weighing in on the problems this could bring to the Eastern Shore.
The way the agreement reads, the locality will be charged with building out their sewer system at their own cost (in Exmore’s case, they would have to borrow about $3-4 million), and then after the infrastructure was built (leaving the bill with the residents), it would have to be signed over to HRSD.
This leaves the question as to how that would work with the lenders….let’s see, they lend you $4 million to replace and expand your sewer pipes, and once it is done, you sign that asset over to a political subdivision that assumes no debt. Hmmm. On top of that, a regional sewer of this size and import will most definitely drain our aquifer, encouraging large water users like major hotels, motels, eateries, industries and the like to drive a stake here because there is no environmental restrictions and costs regarding mass drainfields and Rapid Infiltration Basins that are not only costly to build and operate, they require a lot of land that would otherwise not have to be acquired if there was a pipe that would gather all that sewage that would be confined to our local water cycle, pumping it north to the Onancock Creek where it will in large part dewater our aquifer.
Exmore calculates that if they are forced to join HRSD, the monthly bill will start out at $82/month, going up 9% every year, down to 7% every year after 2025, compounded mind you, down to 6% every year for the rest of the decade.
The Courts will be deciding this issue after the public hearing on October 2, 2020, with the morning session in Accomack County District Court and in the afternoon here in Northampton County. If the courts find that bringing HRSD here does not benefit the SHore, under HRSD’s language, they SHALL (not may) deny the application. Note here that HRSD’s manager twice in public information sessions said he hopes the courts deny it.