By Sean Tubbs
Saturday, November 20, 2010
community has a single source of public drinking water, a 4-mile pipeline that runs along U.S. 250 east of Charlottesville. However, if Albemarle officials decide to add a backup storage tank, they will use $2 million of the county’s capital funds rather than ask the developers or Glenmore residents to pay for it.
“It is not something that is needed to provide [water] for Glenmore,” said James Bowling IV, legal counsel for the
Albemarle County Service Authority
. “It’s a convenience [but] one that you would certainly call a necessity if there was an emergency.”
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The service authority board on Thursday discussed options for addressing the vulnerability created by the system’s potential for a single point of failure. The Michael Baker Jr. engineering firm has recommended a $2 million project to build a new water storage tank in case of a break.
In July, the authority had asked staff to determine if the Glenmore developers could be required to build the tank.
Bowling investigated the proffers included in the Glenmore rezoning and concluded that because the new tank is not essential for new development, the developers can’t legally be required to pay for it.
Another option would have been to charge Glenmore residents a special rate to cover the costs.
The ACSA has twice instituted such a rate, according to Bowling.
For example, developers of future neighborhoods in northern Albemarle County will contribute toward a sewer project with the new North Fork Regional Pump Station, and the Farmington neighborhood’s water distribution system was built with such a fee. Authority staffers, however, did not support this approach.
“[Glenmore] doesn’t seem to us to be the kind of project where a special rate district would apply,” said
, ACSA executive director.
The authority has slowly been trying to build redundancy into the system by building parallel transmission lines and by asking private developers to install oversized pipes to allow for greater future capacity.
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