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Development owes town

Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm

The town has given developers of Monroe Point 60 days to pay its utility bill with the threat of cutting water service off to the development if they don’t comply.

During a Sept. 27 committee meeting, Public Works Chair Gary Seeber, authorized the town to bill the developers for a water hookup that is separate from their main hookup fee.

Gary Seeber, Colonial Beach Town official, speaks at a recent meeting.

In November, 2011, Monroe Point was informed of the meter and the monies owed the town for water. At that time they called the amount due as being too high for the estimated usage. The town allowed time for the water meters to be replaced or  calibrated to determine whether or not it was a meter issue.

Monroe Point was required to pay the standard minimum water bill, and did so following the water being cut off, according to Joan H Grant, town chief financial officer.  As of Sept. 27, the meter replacement or calibration had not been completed. The developer has also been billed for all monies due for this year’s water, with a due date of Oct. 31. Seeber said that he had been in touch, by email, with the group earlier this summer over the issue, but they were no longer responding to the town’s requests.

Town staff has been advised to send a letter given Monroe Point developers, and homeowner’s association, giving them 60 days to pay the overage. If they do not follow up, the town has the right to cut off the water to the entire Monroe Point community.

Other Public Works issues discussed include the upcoming public hearings on Eleanor Park. The public hearings will be held at the Oct. 11 town council meeting. At that time the council will hear public recommendations on what to do with the land that was formerly a mobile home park. The town is looking into its options which include selling the land for residential single homes, leaving it as open space, or as some citizens have requested, turning it into a public use park.

Seeber reminded council that the town does have the right to sell the land, per a United States Supreme Court decision, but that no one had moved forward on this.

Town staff and council is also looking toward the future of the town’s offices and contemplating where Town Hall could be moved. According to Seeber, Town Hall is filled to capacity and not worth the costs of renovating as there still would not be enough space for all needed offices. The council is looking to move Town Hall into the same building with the police department. In doing so it would remove the amount of rent that CBPD is paying for the building they are currently in.

Another issue facing the town is non- profit churches, clubs and organizations are not billed for their water usage by the town. The town is looking into whether this goes against an agreement with the state and that it may be necessary to charge these groups in the future. Seeber said that all organizations will be sent a letter from the town allowing  them to come forward and discuss this issue at a later council meeting.

Val Foulds, town manager, let council know that the cost for the new boardwalk lights, which are now required to be concrete, would run the town $25,000 for nine lights. It will cost $72 per month in electricity to run the lights. Seeber recommended that the funding come from the Capital Improvement funds in the town budget.

Burkett Lyburn, safety chair and vice mayor, reminded everyone of the upcoming Oct. 17 meeting with VDOT and the Town Center at 5 p.m. VDOT is sending a representative to answer all questions on the closing of the bridge at Wilkerson’s Seafood for a period of 91 days while it is repaired. This will shut out one of the ways out of town causing all traffic to officially be detoured to route 631/Longfield Road, which is better known to locals as Drag Strip Road as it runs parallel to Colonial Beach Dragway.

In 2011, following the massive flooding of Tropical Storm Lee, when many local roads were impassable, traffic was directed down Longfield Road for a number of days. Due to the large number of vehicles added to the road, there was one fatality and several minor accidents during that time.

Chief David Robey, of the Colonial Beach Volunteer Fire Department, spoke on the department’s concerns during this shutdown. While Robey does have plans set with other local agencies for mutual aid help during the shutdown, there are worries of equipment having to go a much longer distance to get to some homes and businesses. He also cited concerns that larger fire equipment could be unable to pass the secondary and tertiary roads as needed.

That worry also exists in town due to overhanging trees. Robey has forwarded a list to town staff on which roads need tree maintenance.