Town incurs cost overruns as it sets up sewer and water connections to Cape Charles Brewery
A year ago, the Cape Charles Brewery appeared before Town Council to negotiate a deal to bring the operation to the Eastern Shore. With over $2 million in investments, the last stumbling block was the $65k+ water and sewer hookup charges. The brewery wanted to have the charges completely waived, given what they feel they are bringing to the table such as jobs, additional tax revenue, and being able to put Cape Charles on the bottle caps. The feeling on council was mixed.
The solution leveraged the town Tourism Zone, which would allow the applicant to reduce hookup fees by 50% (to around $33k), and town code which allows for council to set up a payment plan up to ten years. In essence, they would get the hookup at half the price, and pay around $3k a year for ten years. The total cost of the connection charges is $65,977.50. Section 58.1-3851 of the Code of Virginia, allows for the locality to grant tax incentives such as reduced permit or user fees and reduction of gross tax receipts for up to twenty years and provide certain regulatory flexibility such as special zoning for the district or permit process.
To get water and sewer lines to Cape Charles Brewery, Public Works estimated $18k–$8k for water and $10k for sewer. When the work was finally completed last month, the total cost was near $50k.
When questioned about the cost overrun, Public Works Director David Fauber said that part of the miscalculation had to do with the length of line that needed to be run. There was an existing fire hydrant close to the building which Fauber assumed was operational and could be tied into, however, it had never been hooked up, and was basically just a lawn ornament. This required laying much more line. Fauber also said that while digging the trenches, they ran into several roadblocks such as large stones and other objects, which added time and increased the level of difficulty.
Additional costs were occurred by laying gravel on the golf cart path that leads from town to the brewery.
Questions that need answering;
Who installed this hydrant,public works or private contractor?
Who’s responsibility is it to service,maintain and exercise this hydrant?
Could this neglect have contributed to lives being lost or even serious property damage if this hydrant was usable and was needed?
Deborah Bender says
Hmmm, seems like I just saw on the news a brewery went belly-up in Virginia beach after just two years. With all those people they couldn’t survive and this guy thinks that a brewery in Cape Charles will survive? I think it’s wrong for the town to have cut the sewer fees. If you were building a house in town they wouldn’t cut your fees but they will for a business because they think they’re going to get tax revenue. I hope they have something built into this little agreement that if the business folds up they still get paid. And a golf cart path to get to the brewery? Give me a break. Several years ago Joan Natali and Chris Bannon both promised the people that live in Heritage Acres that they were going to see to it that a crosswalk would be put there so that the people could get to the drug store. I don’t know about you but I don’t see any crosswalk. There are crosswalks all over town for the tourists and naturally nothing was ever done for the people that live in Heritage Acres once Joan Natali and Chris Bannon got their vote.
Loving life in Seaview. Excellent drinking water and no politics.
Don & Deborah Bender
Why so negative Ms. Bender? The brewery is owned and operated by a native Eastern Shore family. They have repurposed a depilated building to create there new business. They are using local contractors, local artists, and are using recycled wood from Northampton County. Some of the beers are to brewed with ingredients grown by Eastern Shore farmers. This brewery will add tax revenue and jobs to the community. Micro breweries are thriving all over the DELMARVA region, including a new brewery in Chincoteague. I wish them well and look forward to quality brewed beer from the Eastern Shore.
Deborah Bender says
My husband is from Cape Charles born and bred I seriously doubt that you are. I get the feeling that you are not from here originally and you probably know absolutely nothing about the politics in Cape Charles. My problem is that the town is constantly cutting deals with people that are in business thinking that they are doing the right thing when essentially they’re just screwing themselves over. I know that Chris Marshall had another business in town years ago. As a former business owner in Cape Charles I can tell you that the money is just not there in the winter. I’m not saying that I don’t wish them well, however it’s going to be tough going. The town is full of bars and a few gift shops and not much more. I’m just tired of the town giving away hook up fees and not doing anything for the people that actually live there. By the way why are you hiding behind the name Beerboy?
Alas Ms.Bender…I am one of lowly come heres. Uncle Sam saw fit to put me to work in Cape Charles in early 90’s and I choose to stick around…sorry. One of my children was born here…I hope that counts. I remember living in Cape Charles back then, crack deals on my street, half occupied store fronts, folks pushing shopping carts all over town, and dilapidated homes on every street. In fact I remember someone trying to steal my sneakers while jogging on the beach front…ahh the good old days. (I was slow jogger). Fast forward to today, vibrant shopping district, refurbished beach front, local craftsman and contractors busy on every block, and a nice park. Cape Charles is certainly not perfect but the positives certainly out weigh the negatives. You have first hand knowledge running a small business in Cape Charles and I respect your opnion. Looking forward to Cape Charles brewed beer. Beerman aka Beer-boy