‘We need some teeth’

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Council on IW plan for Gatling Pointe water

By Alyse Stanley

Staff writer

“We need to have some teeth.”

That’s what Smithfield Town Council Member Milton Cook said about the town’s need to get serious in response to Isle of Wight County’s proposed Nike Park waterline.

On Aug. 27 the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its staff’s recommendation to forward the water line study to the Planning Commission for consideration.

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The $3.7 million project would provide water for 587 homes in Gatling Pointe already receiving utilities from the town of Smithfield. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The county has yet to publicize whether or not they will include a sewer line as part of the Nike Park waterline project. That will make the projected cost increase, said Council Member Milton Cook.

Isle of Wight County spokesman Don Robertson has said that a sewer line has not been discussed or recommended, so it’s premature to discuss it at this time.

However, the county has estimated the cost of water and a sewer lines, as well as a storage tank, to be $11 million to $12 million.

At their Sept 1 meeting, Council members joked about shutting off the sewage line to Gatling Pointe households should the County refuse to build one.

However, even creating a shut-off valve would cost the town $10,000 according to public works staff, said Council Member Michael Smith.

According to the Virginia Health Department, the County is not required to build a sewer line to accompany the Nike Park water line, said Jay Duell, environmental health manager with the western Tidewater health district.

Smithfield Town Attorney William Riddick insisted the Council and Board come to a mutual understanding before the water line is completed.

“We can’t continue to provide utilities without an agreement,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors has continually refused to have a dialogue with the town about the project, said Cook. He said the Council must demand their concerns be taken seriously in future proceedings.

In attendance at the August Board of Supervisors meeting was Vice-Mayor Andrew Gregory. He said the Board’s frequent referral to the water line as a “win-win” situation for the town and county particularly worried him.

Currently, Smithfield charges Isle of Wight County $6.04 per 1,000 gallons for its sewage services. This cost would rise should the Nike Park project be completed without an accompanying sewer line, said Mayor T. Carter Williams. {/mprestriction}