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So close, and yet so far away

Posted on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Like a trickle of drops, the town of Montross draws ever closer to the threshold required for qualifying for grants and extra-low-interest loans that would go towards replacing the town’s aging water system. At last week’s Montross Town Council meeting, Town Manager Patricia Lewis gave news that was both good and not so good.

“As of today, we only need eight more responses, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” she said. In short, they had gained a few more responses to the income survey, but it’s still just shy of the threshold required to allow the town to qualify.

After noting the town’s 2010 census data put it unable to qualify for grants and low-interest loans, as the census data is almost 10 years old, the income survey was suggested by the Northern Neck Planning District Commission.

According to them, if there are eight more surveys sent in, the town will qualify for the loans and grants, which will save residents quite a lot of money in the long run.

The town got a reminder of its aging water system last month on the 10th of November, when the water line behind the Coke plant broke. While it has been fixed, Lewis also mentioned during her Town Manager’s report that there had been several reports of air bubbles, though they have cleared up at this point.

The water system replacement is projected to cost in the neighborhood of $2 million. The town does not see a single letter on the survey. Mrs. Lewis and the Montross Town Council have noted on several occasions what having to go without the grants and extra-low-interest loans will result in: a water hike that puts water bills in the range of King George County.