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.