Water line expansion plan moves ahead in Windsor

Published 7:33 am Friday, February 13, 2009

WINDSOR—The Town Council here has made amendments to fees for a $1.3 million, 7,000-foot water line extension along Old Suffolk Road and Tyler Drive.

At its Tuesday meeting, the council voted 4-3 to charge citizens a reduced connection fee of $1,000 and waive the facility fee. Citizens will be given 90 days to take advantage of the reduced fee and up to 24 months to pay the $1,000 fee.

Councilwoman Carlita Richardson said that citizens had contacted her saying they were confused about the plans. She said she believed the council needed to tell the citizens exactly which fees they would need to pay for the line extension, as well as how long they would need to pay them.

Council members referred back to the water service extension that took place near Lover’s Lane from 2003-04. The Council had offered the citizens a tap fee of $500, reduced from $3,000, which they had to take advantage of within a period of 90 days. Councilman Greg Willis said he believed a precedent had been set with how the fee was handled for the Lover’s Lane project.

Kim Gore, who resides on Old Suffolk Road, spoke in opposition to the water line extension during public comment. Gore said that the residents cannot afford the service, and that “it’s tight on everybody.”

Gore referred to the issue as being “pushed down their throats,” and that she would rather see the money spent on the police department.

Creason and Sons Well Service currently serves part of Old Suffolk Road and Tyler Drive. Gore said that the deed to her house, which was purchased in 1994, says that Creason has the rights to running water for her house. In a memorandum to the council and to the mayor, interim Town Manager John L. Rowe stated that he did not recommend that Windsor purchase the two wells operated by Creason, which due to their small size are not regulated by the Virginia Department of Health.

Engineering services on the water line extension have already begun. Residents were hand-delivered a letter by the engineer informing them of the water main installation. Rowe said that the purpose of the letter was to introduce the engineer to the property owner and have the property owner identify the location of the meter box.

Cindy Virostek did not speak at the public hearing, but said after the meeting that the letters were placed inside the residents’ doors.

“They sneak it in,” said Virostek, adding that she and her neighbors hardly ever use their front door. They enter their house through their back doors, she said, and they had no face-to-face meeting with the engineer.

The Windsor planning council recommended a Capital Improvements Plan to the town council in April 2007.

The water line extensions are included in the CIP, and are also financed by a Rural Development loan from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Rural Development loan was approved in August 2008. The town council adopted a resolution at its January meeting appropriating $222,562 for engineering services to implement the water line extension, and also approve the contract between the town and R. Kenneth Weeks Engineers, LLC.

Rowe also introduced a preliminary site plan to council members for a Windsor Town Hall Complex. The site plan would increase the number of parking spaces along the east side of the post office, eliminate dangerous turning movements coming into the town hall’s parking lot from Route 460 and allow all the parking spaces for the town hall and the post office to be served off of Church Street, said Rowe.

In addition, Rowe said that Windsor Pharmacy would consider opening back door entry access for people who would park in the new parking lot.