By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Friday, December 18, 2009

At their meeting on December 17, 2009, the Board of Directors for the

Albemarle County Service Authority

discussed scenarios in which two service expansions could be financed. They set a date for a public hearing for

a special rate district to pay for a new sewer pump station to serve Albemarle County’s northern growth area

. The Board also considered a grant application to connect a low-income neighborhood in the southern growth area to the sewer system.

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The Camelot Wastewater Treatment Plan will be retired when the North Fork Regional Pump Station is complete


North Fork Regional Pump Station

will replace the aging

Camelot Wastewater Treatment Plant

, which lacks the capacity to meet future demand.  When the station is completed, sewage will be pumped south to the

Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

in Charlottesville.

However, the area to be served by the pump station contains many vacant lots that will one day be developed, including the

North Pointe

development. The ACSA will borrow $14.5 million so the project can be built as soon as possible, in advance of development. The goal is to recoup costs through the special rate district.

The district, if enacted, will be split it into two zones, with the dividing line coming at the North Fork of the Rivanna River. Those in the north will pay an additional $2,088 per residential connection, and those in the south will pay a $854 fee. Those in the north are paying more because that area is currently not served by the ACSA’s sewer system. This special fee is in addition to other charges the ACSA levies on homebuilders and existing property owners who want to connect to the system.

The ACSA is paying for 10% of the project to replace Camelot.

“We already have customers so therefore that’s our percentage of the overall flow,” Fern said.

The pump station will also allow for the ACSA to extend sewer service to the Airport Acres neighborhood. That community is currently served by septic fields, but it is anticipated that these will no longer be adequate in the coming decades.

The Board set a date of February 18, 2010 for a public hearing for the rate district. They also authorized staff to proceed with hiring a financial consultant to put together a bond package.

ACSA Board agrees to waive sewer connection fees for Oak Hill extension

The ACSA is applying for a federal Community Development Block Grant with the Albemarle County Department of Housing to pay for a extension of sewer service to the Oak Hill neighborhood in the county’s southern growth area. To do so, the Board of Directors agree to waive connection fees to any resident or property owner who agrees to be served by the extension.

The Oak Hill neighborhood is located off of Old Lynchburg Road south of I-64. Drinking water in the community was recently supplied by wells, but the ACSA recently installed water mains.

“The next step is to provide wastewater service,” Fern said. The construction estimate to do so is $737,000.

The deadline for the grant application is at the end of February. By then, at least 43 of 57 households in the neighborhood must respond to an income survey. In order to qualify for the grant, at least 22 of the homes must be classified as having residents who have low to median incomes (LMI). Additionally, all of the residents and property owners who want to be connected must sign a user agreement committing to the project.


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