Issuu on Google+

T he POSTAL CUSTOMER Colonial Beach • Westmoreland Volume 38, Number 4 Wednesday, January 22, 2014 50 Cents helping you relate to your community January school fire reaffirms need for Town water and sewer upgrades Colonial Beach Town Manager Val Foulds continues to work diligently on the town’s water and sewer infrastructure. But despite her best efforts, as well as those of town staff and town council, time was not on their side the first week of 2014, when fire struck the old two-story landmark school building at 315 Douglas Ave. Although fire officials, at the time of the fire, said that a fire of that magnitude would put a strain on any infrastructure, after the fact, Colonial Beach Fire Chief David Robey did state in recent meetings that the infrastructure of the water lines around the campus needs to be addressed. What may not be common knowledge is that the water lines surrounding the elementary school campus are just a part of a long list of problems being addressed by Foulds and town staff. Work on that section surrounding the campus has been in the works since last year. Replacing pipes in this area was added to a proposed project to replace a failing reservoir tank at the Robin Grove Lane facility, as well as to install meters throughout the town. However, red tape, procedural steps and funding to undertake such a project take time - time that is out of the town’s control. Currently, the town relies on several wells, water tanks and reservoir tanks to extract, hold and distribute the town’s water supply. Identifying problems with the town’s water and sewer infrastructure has been an ongoing project for many years. The Robin Grove Lane facility contains pumps for extracting water and distributing it to homes, and two holding tanks. One tank has a capacity of 100,000 gallons and another has a capacity of 150,000 gallons. The larger holding tank has been isolated for some time, due to exfiltration water loss problems or problems associated with inadequate water pressure. Although posing no health risks, the leaking tanks interfered with water pressure, making the delivery of water inefficient. Foulds reviewed the matter and updated the Colonial Beach Town Council in a letter dated Jan. 14, stating, “The failing tank has reduced the town’s storage capacity by 21.4%.” Foulds also stated that several qualified vendors had investigated rehabilitation solutions, but none proved viable. The council has been made aware of the problems, as they have developed and been discovered. In March of 2013, the council passed a resolution authorizing the town manager to sign the required application to seek grant funding and other resources to address the critical water and sewer infrastructure needs. The resolution states, “These investments in water infrastructure improve water pressure, fire protection and service reliability.” Also in March, the town submitted an application to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for any and all funding options, to include available grant funding. However, on April 11, 2013, VDH advised the town that based on current guidelines, including an increase in the town’s median household income (reported at $45,739), the town would not qualify for grant funding for this project. VDH also stated that they do not provide funding to localities that do not meter all water usage, but indicated they would consider funding if the town included installation of water meters in the project, since the town was in great need of repairs. Foulds’ Jan. 14 letter to council also states, “After consulting with the town council, staff proceeded to update the project cost and resubmitted an application on May 10, 2013 to VDH. The new application included the upgrade of undersized, old water lines, as well as the installation of 1,874 meters to all residential and business customers without meters.” On June 25, 2013, VDH made an initial offer to the town for funding in the amount of $3,972,566 in the form of a 20-year loan. The following month, on July 11, the town council passed a resolution giving the town manager the authorization to accept the offer of initial funding. Foulds’ Jan. 14 letter also indicates that during a meeting in August 2013 with VDH, the town added a back-up power generator and security cameras at the Robin Grove Lane location to the project application. VDH’s professionals advised that they would be willing to add the cost of these long-term security improvements to the funding package. Town staff has been working on one of the major steps in the process, the selection and contracting of a consulting engineer firm to work with the town on this project. The project requires strict guidelines that must be followed exactly. Town staff interviewed five firms and has made their recommendations in the order of which companies scored highest to lowest. Town council expects to choose a consulting engineering firm at the next work session, Thursday, Jan. 23. The next critical milestone for this project is to submit plans and specifications to the Virginia Office of Drinking Water, to be reviewed by February 2014. —Linda Farneth Too close for comfort! Richard Leggitt Leonard Banks Colonial Beach varsity shooting guard, Sydni Carey eludes Washington & Lee guard, Armani Henry, as she attempts to pass the ball to a fellow Drifter. The Drifters defeated the Eagles, 67-21, Tank replacement means metered water for Colonial Beach Colonial Beach is currently working to secure funding for upgrades to the Robin Grove Lane water facility in town. However, due to qualification guidelines, the town will be seeking funding to install water meters in all homes, as well. Water rates have recently been increased to allow the town to pay for upgrades and maintain credit ratings to allow for lower interest funding for future upgrades. Although water meters may cause added expense for some residents, repairs being planned will increase water flow, ensuring a sound infrastructure that will improve water pressure, fire protection and service reliability. A sound infrastructure is key to keeping insurance rates low. The project involves replacing two underground storage tanks with a combined capacity of 250,000 gallons, with one aboveground storage tank with equal capacity. The two tanks that currently hold water are a combination of 100,000 and 150,000-gallon New precinct polling locations proposed for Wmd. county capacities. The larger failing tank was isolated from the system when significant cracks and associated groundwater infiltration and treated-water exfiltration was discovered. This resulted in the town’s total water storage capacity being reduced by 21.4%. The plan is to fill the larger, now unused tank with materials and place a new above-ground tank over it, thereby leaving the ground at the Robin Grove Lane facility site undisturbed. Due to this change in water storage, the existing booster pumps will need to be replaced. A structural assessment of the existing Robin Grove Lane pump building will be needed, and potential structural improvements/reinforcements required as part of the construction. The town is seeking funding for this project through the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). On April 11, 2013, VDH advised the town that based on current guidelines, including an increase in the town’s median See Meters, page 3 The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors has delayed a decision on whether to move two Westmoreland County polling places. The board will hold a public hearing on whether or not to move the Districts 1 and 4 polling locations at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 10. The Westmoreland County Electoral Board and General Registrar Kirstin Hicks want to move the District 1 polling place from its current location at the Cople District Fire Station to the Carmel United Methodist Church at 9463 Cople Highway in Hague. Hicks and the electoral board also want to move the District 4 polling location from its current location at the Oak Grove Fire Station to the Washington District Elementary School at 454 Oak Grove Rd. in Colonial Beach. “There has long been a need for an alternative to using the Cople District Fire Station,” Hicks told the board in a letter last week. “Adequate lighting, heating and cooling are issues that our elections officers must deal with during every election.” Hicks said, “The Oak Grove Fire Station has also not been particularly suitable as a polling place due to heating and cooling inconsistencies and because the firemen are often walking through the polling area to their meeting room, office or kitchen.” Members of the board of supervisors and some citizens have raised questions about the proposed polling place relocations. At the board’s meeting this month, Supervisor W.W. Hynson urged the board to table a vote on the polling location changes until he has time to talk with the fire departments involved and his constituents. Hicks said that although the polling location changes do not need Justice Department approval, since Virginia is no longer under the requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, any change in locations needs to be in place by May 1. Taking the plunge Rotary members presented the School Board with donations from clubs from surrounding localities totaling $3,500. From left to right: Vicky Roberson, Lisa Santiago, Gloria Savage-Early, Don Moore, Kathleen Beane, Holly Graf, Tim Trivett, Michelle Payne, Wayne Kennedy and Scott Foster. Donations continue to pour in to Colonial Beach Schools Darren Hall of Colonial Beach takes off his prosthetic limb to prepare for the 4th annual Polar Plunge. See more on page 6. Holly Graf, president of the local Rotary Club in King George/ Dahlgren, addressed the Colonial Beach School Board on behalf of several rotary clubs from surrounding localities who wished to make donations to the Colonial Beach Elementary School Fire Fund. Don Moore presented a check from the Fredericksburg Rotary Club for $1,000. Gloria SavageEarly and Lisa Santiago presented a check from Graf ’s rotary club for $1,000. Graf also presented the board with a combined check for $1,500 donated by other rotary clubs from Tappahannock, Louisa County, Stafford, and the Rappahannock Club in Fredericksburg. Rotary clubs got their start in 1905, when three men, Gustave E. Loehr, Silvester Scheile and Hiram E. Shorey were called to a meeting by Paul P. Harris. The four men were all prominent businessmen, and they began meeting once a week. The meetings would take place in one of the member’s offices, and the group would rotate where they met each week. Hence, the name Rotary Club stuck. Rotary Clubs are comprised of members, usually business owners and professional leaders gathering together to provide humanitarian services. All planned projects must pass a 4-way test. All projects must foster truth, fairness, build goodwill and better friendships, all while being beneficial to all concerned. The group’s motto is “Service above self ”. Graf told the board that education is one of the five broad areas of focus for the Rotary. “We also bring a network of like-minded professionals Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at who believe in service above self and have also dedicated their time and whatever resources they can bring to projects at a community level and also international level.” Rotary is well-known for its global mission, Polio Now, but local rotary clubs have focused on education in the See Donate, page 3

01-22-2014 Colonial Beach/Westmoreland County Va Journal

Related publications