County borrows $72,875 for Drewryville water system

Published 11:08 am Saturday, September 1, 2012

COURTLAND—The 74 customers on Drewryville’s water system will not pay higher rates after Southampton County supervisors on Monday voted 5-1 to borrow $72,875 to pay for upgrades.

Newsoms District Supervisor Glenn Updike voted against accepting the 30-year loan from the Virginia Department of Health. Payments will be $3,468 annually. At 2.5 percent, the total payback will be $104,040, of which $31,147 will be interest.

The Department of Health also will give the county another $72,875 for the project; that money will not need to be paid back.

Supervisors in March agreed to apply for a grant for the water system.

Built in 1972 and acquired by the county in 1986, the water system has a 240-foot deep well.

In 2006, the county purchased a used 20,000-gallon storage tank, which was never placed in service due to lack of funding.

In 2009, the county received a $25,000 grant from the state Department of Health to install a second well, which was drilled in August 2010, but never placed in service due to lack of funding.

This new loan and grant will allow for those things to be done and provide fencing and a road.

County Administrator Mike Johnson told supervisors the current system does not have a backup well without the newer well in service.

“If we lose the well right now, your system is dead,” Johnson said. “The last time the well went down, it was three or four days to get fixed and we had to pay overtime.”

Franklin District Supervisor Barry Porter noted that the county collects about $25,000 annually in fees from the water system.

“I suspect because the system is so old, it’s probably one of the few moneymaker utilities we have in the county,” Porter said. “I would suspect it costs less than $25,000 to maintain.”

Johnson agreed.