Weather Continues To Delay Monterey Wastewater Plant
Monterey, VA – The weather continues to delay completion of the Monterey waste water treatment plant and the town council has to deal with several matters affected by that delay. Until temperatures warm up and the soil thaws it will not be possible to complete backfilling around the existing walls of the plant and that will delay its completion. The contractor has estimated that there are about 6 weeks of work remaining.
The Virginia department of environmental quality has placed Monterey under a consent order, threatening large fines, unless the town sewage system is completed soon. On February 17 Mayor Janice Warner and Councilman Francis Fenn met with officials from the Virginia DEQ to fill them in on progress toward completion of the new waste water treatment plant and the status of the town sewer lines.
Mayor Warner, Councilman Fenn and Mikey Isles prepared a map of the town sewer system to show both the new and old lines. One of the problems with the town sewer system is the entry of water into the lines from surface or ground water. This so-called wild water can overwhelm the capacity of the waste water treatment plant when it rains, so it needs to be reduced.
Mayor Warner is working with the DEQ to come up with a plan for monitoring the flow of the wild water. The DEQ proposal would cost the town almost $49,000.00. There is some contingency money in the USDA grant funding construction of the new waste water treatment plant that could be used of pay for the flow monitor study. Mayor Warner requested that the council give her permission to have the engineering firm of Mattern and Craig finalize a proposal for that monitoring study, so the town would have a good estimate of the costs.
For several months, the council has been discussing expanding the town water system out Airport Road. Apparently there is interest in building some houses in that area and access to town water would be beneficial for this residential development. Another storage tank and new water lines will be required for this project. There is a good possibility that USDA money could be used for at least part of the expense of this expansion. The council approved a motion to have Mattern and Craig look at the expansion of the water system to provide the town with engineering recommendations and cost estimates.
In other business, Mayor Warner noted that the new sign at the Farm Bureau Insurance office may exceed the size limit permitted in the town sign ordinance. The council voted to have county zoning administrator, Jim Whitelaw check the sign and if it does not conform to the town ordinance, then he will write a letter to the sign owners requesting that action be taken to bring the sign into compliance.
The next meeting of the Monterey Town Council will be Tuesday, April 13.