The Special Gazette #4, of Feb. 9, shows a 10-year rate projection from the PPEA (Public-Private Education and Infrastructure Act) consultant.
The graph shows that the minimum monthly water and sewer cost ($94.94) decreases each of the first five years (to about $77) and then the rates increase. The public has not seen any rate projections from Virginia American Water (VAW), making it impossible to validate the accuracy of the PPEA consultant’s estimates.
This graph also shows that if the town does not sell the assets, the rates increase from around $95 to $138 in the 10th year. Why? There’s no explanation offered. When will the town release the financial projections from the PPEA consultant to support this huge increase in rates? There are other options for Cape Charles to manage these plants.
At the Jan. 13 town meeting, a Northampton County supervisor and a Cape Charles resident made compelling statements about the option to have the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) manage the wastewater plant instead of selling it. Exmore is working with HRSD using federal funds (American Rescue Plan) to pay off its debt and upgrade the town’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The town manager said that the HRSD executive director was interested in the wastewater plant and there might be grants available.
Another option offered at this meeting was to retain ownership of the water and wastewater plants and hire a company to operate and maintain them. The town has rejected these options without a thorough analysis that has been conducted for the option to sell the two plants. How does the town know that selling the assets is the best option if the town has not conducted comprehensive analyses of all options?
Find out more by attending the town hall meeting at the Cape Charles Civic Center on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. You can submit questions until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, to [email protected]. The meeting will be live on Facebook; however, the Civic Center does not have sufficient audio equipment to broadcast all of the conversation.