Centenary sewage hook-up approved
by Larry S. Chowning
After a public hearing Tuesday night, the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the county staff to find a way to allow the All Saints Anglican Church to hook the Centenary Methodist Church building to the county courthouse pump-and-haul sewage system.
Supervisor Carlton Revere said he was in favor of the church hooking onto the system provided county taxpayers are not subsidizing the cost of the project. The church, which was built in 1883, is an important part of the Saluda community, he said.
County administrator Charlie Culley was authorized to determine what it will cost to pump and haul the church sewage and the cost of hooking the church onto a county sewage pipe.
Bob Calves of Urbanna expressed concern that by allowing the church to hook onto the county system it might encourage larger projects to seek the same courtesy. “If you don’t allow them, and you let the church hook on, they might file a lawsuit against you,” he said.
Catherine Goodwin of All Saints Anglican Church noted the Saluda community has shown an interest in preserving the historic building. She noted when the Southside Sentinel reported that the church might be torn down, there was a large public outcry to save the building.
An organization comprised of eight county civic leaders, called the Centenary Foundation, wants to save the old church and is working to finalize the purchase of the building.
A formal sale contract has been signed by the Centenary Foundation and the trustees of the Rappahannock District of the United Methodist Church, which own the church, but the deal has not been finalized.
Centenary Church closed in 2006 when membership decreased and the small congregation found it difficult to support itself. The church sanctuary has not been used since then, but an extension on the church, which was built in 1964, continues to be used as the office of the superintendent of the Rappahannock District of the United Methodist Church. The superintendent’s office is not part of the proposed sale.