By Julia Glendening

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Thursday, July 2, 2009





Greg Harper, Water Resources Manager for Albemarle County

Greg Harper, the Water Resources Manager for Albemarle County, presented an update on the Crozet stormwater management system to the Board of Supervisors on July 1, 2009. The Board originally approved the system on November 7, 2007, however, the design was further developed and the 2009 cost estimate is larger than the 2007 estimate. The Board indicated their support for the stormwater project and agreed to reexamine the cost estimate at a future meeting.


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Harper described the goals of the project, which included stormwater management planning for future growth, especially a denser downtown area which he said could increase runoff. He also said the project would help to protect water resources by addressing areas currently without stormwater management. Harper stated the engineering plans are 80% complete and emphasized that staff hopes to provide stormwater management at the lowest cost possible.

A cost estimate was first provided in 2007 by Kimley-Horn Associates, the consultant for the project, and totaled $350,000. However, the estimate was changed in 2009 to $694,176. This was an increase of $344,176 and almost double the original cost. A staff report explained the cost estimate was raised due to an increase in land parcel size, a re-alignment of the storm and sewage system, and the addition of contingency costs, which were not originally included. Harper expressed hope for a lower final cost because of the favorable construction market.

“We’re hoping to be under construction within about six months,” said Harper. “There’s 15 acres of impervious area that we can immediately treat and prevent those pollutants from reaching our water supply.”

Harper also said a grant had been awarded to the Rivanna River Basin Commission and $120,000 would be provided to help fund the Crozet stormwater management project. However, Harper warned the Board of the lengthy process to receive the grant.

Supervisor

David Slutzky

(Rio) said he was concerned with the total balance of the Stormwater Control Improvement Fund due to pending improvement of Sun Ridge Road. The Board approved the renovation of Sun Ridge Road on March 7, 2007 and drainage issues were to be addressed and financed by the Stormwater Fund. Slutzky said the drainage improvements have not been dealt with at the present time and wanted to confirm there would be sufficient funding in the future.

Harper told Slutzky he did not know the balance of the fund but assured him there would excess money left in the fund after the stormwater project. County executive Bob Tucker said the Sun Ridge Road project money had been set aside and its funding would not be depleted by the stormwater project.

Supervisor

Ann Mallek

(White hall) commented that the Birnam Basin project in 2004 was similar in cost and did not have as many features.

Harper agreed and said the Birnam Basin, a detention basin near Charlotte Humphris Park, cost $720,000 and was much simpler than the stormwater project, which will serve 30 impervious acres.


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