Cape Charles Mirror Report
by Wayne Creed
The Cape Charles Town Council met on August 20th for a regular meeting, and to hold an Executive Session. The agenda for the meeting covered topics from the Cape Charles by the Bay website to the new breakwater that is planned to go in south of the existing structures.
Cape Charles by the Bay Website
Councilwoman Natali informed other members of Council that stakeholders had met earlier that week, and had batted around several options regarding what do about maintaining the current web site. With summer almost over, and the web site containing stale information that dates back to the spring, there does not appear to be too much urgency in finding a working solution. The main stakeholders involved in the process are the Cape Charles Business Association, Bed and Breakfast Association, Arts Enter, Citizens for Central Park, Cape Charles Yacht Center, and the Town of Cape Charles.
“We had a large open discussion and we discussed a lot of issues. We agreed time was of the essence and we need to move forward as quickly as possible because social media and the website are getting stale. We have a short term and long term solution we are working towards. We have a budget and we have money set aside for social media and we are in the process of putting together a memorandum of agreement. Once this is completed we will review it with all the stakeholders. They will either concur and we will move forward or we will make any adjustments that are necessary,” Natali said.
It should be noted that this ‘stakeholder’ meeting was not announced or publicized, and essentially took place privately, behind closed doors. There was no information provided as to where the money for the so-called ‘budget’ for this project was going to come from.
Cape Charles Master Trail Plan
Council adopted the Cape Charles Master Trail Plan on September 11, 2007. This multi-use trail is funded by Federal grants under the Transportation Alternatives Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and twenty percent by the Town. Close to $1.4M remains available for Phase 2 which includes North Peach St. and Washington Ave.
However, the low bid for Phase 2 construction was $350,000 more than the original engineer’s estimate. Land Studio PC (consultants), claims that a good deal of the cost can be removed by holding off on the part of the trail along Washington Avenue from Peach Street to Fig Street. This part of the project would be taken up in a future construction phase. VDOT has approved this change and rebidding the project.
“We would like to tell you we are going to be able to bring you an contract award recommendation in October but we don’t think that is going to be the case. VDOT has to approve it, so it will probably be November when we bring you the recommendation. What we will bring to you in October is an application for additional grant funding. This phase of the project will tap out our grant funds,” Assistant Town Manager Panek said.
Councilman Bannon asked “How long has the trail project been going on?”
“I believe…2007. It has been going on for some time, ” Panek said.
Council approved the contract change order with Land Studio in the amount of $162K for restructuring the bid package and construction administration.
Harbor Breakwater Project
Council approved a contract change order with the consulting firm Langley & McDonald, Inc. for construction engineering and administration in the amount of $39,500. According to staff, “the hydrographic survey has been completed and they are updating the plans and specifications based on the new water depths. They are also drafting the bid package. This will include the use of excess concrete shapes being donated by Bayshore Concrete Products from the Skanska facility in Chesapeake. This will generate material cost savings that may contribute to additional protection improvements within the available funding. Bid alternates will be included to add an additional two feet of height to the new and existing breakwaters”. Bids will be advertised in September.
According to Assistant Town Manager Panek, “We are planning on bringing the award recommendation to you in the October meeting. We do have a little bit of urgency to that. The Skansa yard would like to have our contract for the shapes by the first of December”.
Councilman Bennett asked, “Do you know what those shapes are? Are they blocks or piles? The last time they put those blocks out there and they didn’t work so well”.
“It was the tubes that didn’t work so well, they kind of rolled under, but they will be cubes, blocks. Yes, with rocks over it. The water south of the existing breakwaters has gotten deeper, there was a scouring effect around the south of the two breakwaters. That is going to change te dimensions so it is a good thing we have access to that material to compensate. There will be bid alternates. If you recall we wanted the previous two breakwaters to be seven feet tall, but had to go with five due to budget constraints. However, we will have alternates to possible go to seven feet for the third breakwater,” Panek said.
BACKGROUND Virginia Fire programs Fund
Council approved allowing the Town Manager to execute the FY 2016 Fire Programs Fund Disbursement Agreement for $10,000 as a pass-through to the Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Company (CCVFC). This pass-through fund comes in every year, and is always part of the Town’s budget.
FY2016 Budget Re-Appropriation – Manhole Rehabilitation Project
The manhole work project began in FY 2015, but has since continued into FY 2016. Town Code requires that the funding for a project that overruns its projected fiscal year be re-appropriated in the following fiscal year. Council voted to re-appropriate $41,792 for fiscal year 2016 in order to fulfill the contract and complete the manhole system repairs.
Electronic Summons System Ordinance
From staff report, “Code of Virginia sections 17.1-275.5 and 17.1-279.1 were revised by the General Assembly and approved by Governor McAuliffe effective July 1, 2015 allowing towns the ability to assess an additional sum not to exceed $5 as part of costs in each criminal or traffic case in the Northampton County district or circuit courts for a violation of any statute or ordinance which arose within the Town for the purpose of funding software, hardware and associated equipment costs for the implementation and maintenance of an electronic summons system. The assessment shall be collected by the Clerk of the Court of Northampton County and remitted to the town treasurer. The funds will be held solely to fund the software, etc. as stated above”.
Council voted for adoption of Ordinance #20150820 to collect the $5 for criminal and traffic cases for the costs associated with an electronic summons system.