County approves $1.97 million for Hardy water line

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022

By Stephen Faleski

Staff Writer

Isle of Wight County supervisors voted on Nov. 17 to approve a bid of $1.97 million from the Newport News-based Basic Construction Co. for the first phase of a new water main that will serve Hardy Elementary School and surrounding areas.

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Phase 1 will involve the installation of a 12-inch main from the intersection of Thomas Street and Luter Drive inside Smithfield’s town limits to Berry Hill Road on the opposite side of the Pagan River, using a directional drill to carry the water main across the river.

The county had accepted a $2.5 million bid from Chesapeake-based Peters & White Construction Co. in October for Phase 2, which will extend the line from Berry Hill Road to a 20-foot-by-40-foot booster station off Old Stage Highway, and from there to Hardy, where a 500,000-gallon water tower is under construction.

The $2.5 million bid had been higher than what the county had anticipated spending on the entire project, to include both phases plus the pump house. But according to County Administrator Randy Keaton, county staff has found savings in its utility fund to cover the excess.

The county ordinarily transfers money each year from its general fund to its utility fund to compensate for the utility fund’s expenses exceeding its income. But the utility fund brought in more revenue than usual this year due to tap fees associated with new housing developments, Keaton said. As a result, the utility fund won’t need the full subsidy this year, and the savings are enough to cover the higher-than-anticipated cost of the Hardy water main.

The county has yet to approve a cost for the pump station.

The new Hardy Elementary, intended to replace a 1960s-era school by the same name, is slated to open by the start of the next school year.