Smithfield agrees to buy some county water

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The Town of Smithfield will begin buying water from Isle of Wight County to serve the area between Moore Avenue and Turner Drive within the next three to five years, to include the undeveloped areas as growth occurs, Isle of Wight County Administrator Randy Keaton announced at the June 14 Board of Supervisors meeting. 

This is the first time Smithfield has agreed to purchase water from the county. Currently, the town sells water to the county to serve the residents of Gatling Pointe. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The town’s purchase of water is expected to offset the cost of the Gatling Pointe water, as well as provide additional customers for the county. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The water agreement, unanimously approved by the Board, is part of the boundary line adjustment between the town and county on 184 acres located at Nike Park and Battery Park roads. 

The water purchase agreement is contingent on the county completing construction of a water line from the city of Suffolk’s boundary on Route 10 and Benn’s Grant subdivision. The water line is to provide an alternate source of water for the county from the Western Tidewater Water Authority, as well as provide an emergency water source, if needed. The first phase is estimated at $1.7 million.   

The agreement means the county needs to get the water line built, said Keaton. 

The boundary line adjustment was to accommodate a request by Napolitano Homes, which owns the former Scott farm. The developer, that already has a housing project approved along Battery Park Road within town limits, wanted its other property to also be located in Smithfield. 

Another caveat of the adjustment is a 10-year moratorium on future annexations.  

Annexation is considered a hostile process, while a mutually agreed upon boundary line adjustment is not. The proposed incorporation of the Scott farm into the town would not preclude Smithfield and Isle of Wight from making uncontested boundary line adjustments over the next 10 years.

Isle of Wight County has been seeking additional water customers to use the capacity afforded by the Norfolk water deal, as well as to cover its costs, while Smithfield’s water withdrawal permit is up for renewal in about five years. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is making a regional effort to limit or reduce groundwater withdrawal amounts. The water from the Norfolk water deal is largely surface water.  {/mprestriction}