A Mirror reader posited a few interesting questions that should be looked into regarding the possible sale of water and wastewater utilities.
There are interesting questions that should be answered:
Observations:1. Since the Town has always collected water & sewer “tap fees” in order to issue building permits, will the proposed new utility company collect the fees, and what will be the amounts?
2. Will the previously paid utility investment “tap fees” be refunded by the Town or the proposed new utility company?
3. Will the investors in the current utility upgrades and expansions be reimbursed by the Town or the proposed new utility company?
Regarding the Town Managers letter, it seems, in simple terms: “Don’t blame the Town for inadequate supply, or increases in rates/fees/connection charges/vacant home fees, etc.
“No es mi problema”
The words in Town Manager Hozey’s note mention Bay Creek, which is on the hook to pay for all of the expansion and upgrades required for a 3,000 permitted housing units development (in the original Town (300 new homes) and its expanded annexed South Tract (2,700 new housing Units, plus golf courses, swimming pools, tennis complex, restaurant, Beach Club, fountains, etc.) and repay the Town for the capacity it drew down over the years. How this will actually play out is the rub-it is cheaper to avoid legal fees and a public dispute by having a ‘regulated utility’ take all the heat and pay off the interest-free loan.
Looking back for context. From the Mirror, a review of what the Annexation Agreement said about utilities. The Mirror has written extensively on Law No. 27, which is very straightforward in establishing the requirements of the Annexation of County lands into the Town of Cape Charles:
On page 25; paragraph 2 under Wastewater Treatment, it states, “Funding associated with the expansion has been committed by the developer”. So when the Planning Commission met in 1999, they purposely put that statement into the text, implying that, in planning for the future (which is what the commission is dealing with),it was expected that the developer, Brown and Root/Richard S. Foster, would fund future expansion of the wastewater plant. Why would the Cape Charles Planning Commission make this claim, if not true? A bigger question, why was this language stricken from the current Comp Plan, and not included in the current proposed changes? Why not pursue the developer to pay? Why would members of the town staff and council, attempt to shield Bay Creek entities from the obligations that were agreed upon so many years ago?
Also, note thThe pages extracted below from the Report on the Town of Cape Charles – County of Northampton Annexation Action – February 1991. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ANNEXATION: page 63 Utilities. The Northampton Court Order, Law # 27 specifically addressed the Utility Section in its Order. There were 2 actual Orders. One by the special court on the Annexation and the other by Northampton District Court. The obligations ‘run with the land’, yet interestingly was never included on any title abstract work done for the benefit of Bay Creek Realty/ VAB etc., or by its owner’s (Foster & Sancillio) title companies.
As the town moves forward, it would help not to memory hole the obligations contained in the various Annexation Agreements. The language was stricken from the Comprehensive Plan, which is something to ponder. As always, be diligent and cut through the smoke and mirrors, abstract financial numbers, statistical mythology, the studies, and dubious narratives, which for some time now has been to benefit a specific part of the Cape Charles topology, while marginalizing the rest.
Bob Meyers says
Considering the quoted agreement below
“…..to pay the cost of the physical expansion of the Town’s sewer and water
The CCM has presented in the past the last USGS report regarding the over withdrawal of the original CC water supply thus allowing salt water intrusion and the necessity for mixing from additional wells to supply water meeting VA drinking water standards. With the significant imminent increase in needs resulting from the current Bay Creek expansion, WILL THE INCREASED NEED BE ABLE TO BE SATISFIED BY EXISTING WELLS? If not, there may be large costs incurred by whomever is responsible for supplying CC with drinking water to either purchase “foreign water” or construct a limited desalination plant as was done in Cape May NJ to solve a very similar problem of allowing population increase beyond available less expensive resources. CC citizens and its management need to think about this carefully, particularly considering the enormous economic inflation we are all living under. Maybe something has magically changed to correct the problem, but if not, sellers AND buyer beware!
ajar string says
While one might readily think government operations can (and often do) be performed more efficiently and cheaper by private interests, often the necessary profits – especially those involved with a takeover – result in actual increases in utility costs. Localities around the country have come to regret privatizing their water sources.
It has become a consistent habit of Cape Charles to take up as new an idea which has been tested, found wanting, and rejected by numerous entities across the republic. Since the railroad mishap, which might justify dismissal of the historic society review board, one is often set on edge – as perhaps by this adventure – and left to wonder: What might the carpetbaggers screw up next?
Hop Sing says
Thank the real estate brokers and the agents that carry their water.
Publius Americanus says
Hey buddy, as far as I can see, ain’t no Come Here’s(Thanks, lefties) on Council.
Nope, this is just more liberals acting like liberals. NO sense of history or proportions.
Just pee away the money, heck the government has more!!!!!!