Water Authority votes to suspend review and negotiations on water system proposal.
Authority directs staff to further evaluate potentially less costly alternative sources of drinking water for Deltaville and submit planning and design grant to Virginia Health Department by September 1st.
Saluda, August 25, 2016: The Middlesex Water Authority (MWA), in a special meeting on August 24, 2016, voted to suspend review and negotiations with Sydnor Hydro on a proposed water system in Deltaville pending review of other alternatives and directed staff to evaluate potentially less expensive alternatives. In a presentation to the Authority, Ken Turner of Timmons Group recommended the Authority set aside or suspend review and contract negotiations on the proposed system until issues with the subscriber base and financial shortcomings can be resolved. Further, Turner recommended that the Authority not move forward with a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) loan at this time and consider reapplication when the subscriber base or financial issues are resolved. Authority Executive Director, Matt Walker echoed Timmons’ concerns and reaffirmed Turner’s recommendations. He further recommended that the Authority evaluate alternative sources of drinking water for Deltaville and asked for authorization to apply for a VDH Planning and Design grant to potentially aid in the funding of an evaluation or PER on alternatives.
According to Walker, it is the Authority’s opinion that this system, as proposed, was only marginally sustainable and that most any unexpected occurrence causing the financial picture to differ would be borne by the rate payers through higher rates. The Authority believes it is acting on the community’s behalf and honoring the public’s trust by proceeding very cautiously in the consideration of what is believed to be a marginally sustainable system. Walker stated that what has become apparent to the Authority is that the failure to reach the needed 615 subscribers this spring placed a nearly impossible challenge to the financial viability of the Sydnor Proposal. Of the 615 subscriptions needed for sustainability, the latest Spring 2016 recruitment campaign only achieved 459, 156 short of the goal. These 156 missing subscribers would have added $780,000.00 in Connection Fee Revenue for the system. Even more important, these customers
would have contributed $102,960.00 in Annual Operational Revenue for the system. Further, the anticipated demand for large meter customers, meters sized 1” or larger, did not materialize in either 2015 or 16 recruitment periods, both only achieving 13 total subscriptions.
The Authority's consultant engineer Ken Turner, with Timmons Group, reported that the proposal still has failed to include all of the project costs which are known and is only marginally financially sustainable. Turner noted the absence of such items as Third Party Quality Assurance /Quality Control services costs, which was desired by the Authority and are required by VDOT and the Health Department, Administrative and Legal costs, and an allowance cost for any delinquent or non-payments of water bills. Walker stated that the proposal appears to assume 100% payment from all of the customers of every water bill over the term of the loan thereby making no allowance for any late or non-payments. These and any further unforeseen occurrences would trigger increases in user rates. This could become a burden upon the rate payers currently subscribed to the system and prove to be an impediment to future subscribers coming onto the system.
Authority Vice-Chairmen Greg Chambers stated, “The Authority understands the need for water in Deltaville. We are not abandoning the project to get clean drinking water for the community. We are however very apprehensive of this particular method. If unplanned overages of 1 million occur, rates over five years could increase by approximately $37 per month.” “Reverse Osmosis and the related infrastructure is expensive. This has created a near insurmountable hurdle to the Sydnor Proposal. Before this method is imposed, less expensive sources and methods need to be fully explored. The Authority desires to expedite the evaluation of alternative sources via an independent review”, continued Chambers.
Water Authority member and Board of Supervisor’s Representative, Chip Holt made the motions to suspend the current Sydnor Hydro proposal pending review of other alternatives and that the Authority refund all deposits and void all subscriber agreements for the current Sydnor Hydro proposal without prejudice. Both motions passed 4 to 0 with one member absent. Walker further clarified that those who had signed up would remain on the list to receive incentivized connection rates when a project moves forward.
The Water Authority was offered an initial funding package from the Virginia Department of Health’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund consisting of a low interest loan for 30 years and was granted several extensions to allow more time for the proposer to submit a complete proposal and opportunity for the Authority to complete its review. The Authority plans to reapply for the loan in the Spring should a viable alternative be identified.
The Water Authority will hold its next meeting at 6pm on September 14, 2016.
The Middlesex Water Authority was formed by the Middlesex Board of Supervisors in 2014 to determine whether there is a need for the Authority to construct and operate a water system within the established service areas of Middlesex County. If a need for such a system was determined, the Authority was authorized to construct, operate or contract for such water system as is deemed necessary. The Authority may not require mandatory connections to a water system and instead has employed incentive based connection programs to encourage voluntary subscription.
WasteWater Service Area Maps
Updated December 21, 2016 by Glenn Nix
The Water Authority will hold its next meeting at 6pm on
|MWA Ordinance adopted 6/14/2014||1|
Middlesex Water Authority Packets
September 10, 2016 by Kevin Gentry
|water authority MEMBERS||Representing|
Mark E. "Chip" Holt, III
Board of Supervisors
|James M. Reed||At-Large||LJJR1820@yahoo.com|
|Carlton S. Revere||At-Largefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Janet V. Riggs||At-Largeemail@example.com|
|Matt Walker||Executive Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Betty Muncy||Executive Secretaryemail@example.com|
Historic Courthouse 2nd Floor
2nd Wednesday of every odd month; special meetings as required.
* All Middlesex County ordinances are subject to periodic revisions upon action by the Board of Supervisors. The listing in the sidebar is not a complete listing of Middlesex County ordinances. Should you have any questions, please contact the Department of Planning and Community Development at (804) 758-3382.