Gatling Pointe water line plan is dead

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016

By Diana McFarland

News editor

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors settled on the “dangers of doing nothing” and did just that Thursday with the proposed water line to Gatling Pointe.

The Board took no action and instead plans to consider the project again when its time to revise the 2008 comprehensive plan.

Staff reports had warned of the “dangers of doing nothing” when trying to build its case for running a new water line to Gatling Pointe. The development is currently served through an agreement with the town of Smithfield. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

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The water line alone was expected to cost more than $3 million. Public opposition was strong and a group of citizens even filed suit to have the courts stop the project. That petition was dismissed however.

Part of the justification for the new line was to help cover the cost of the now notorious Norfolk water deal, which costs the county several million dollars a year while not yet receiving a drop in return.

There’s no need to spend money to duplicate what is already there, said Newport District Supervisor William McCarty.

It would take 1,400 years to break even on that plan, the timing is wrong, he said.

Smithfield Vice Mayor Andrew Gregory presented the Board with a revised utility agreement, which had expired in August.

Gregory said the town was willing to reduce the price of the water from $6.41 to $6.24 per 1,000 gallons. The town charges its own residents $6.41, but is willing to reduce the price to what the Western Tidewater Water Authority charges the county, Gregory said.

Former Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen had objected to renewing the agreement because of the price difference.

As part of the revised agreement, the town asked the county to suspend its plans to build the Gatling Pointe waterline and to put together a task force of county officials, along with those from the towns of Smithfield and Windsor, to come up with a comprehensive solution to water needs in the future.

Hardy District Supervisor Rudolph Jefferson asked that the proposal be given to staff for review and a recommendation. The Board did not take action. {/mprestriction}