Pinetop supervisors: ‘Halt spending on sewage plant’
by Larry S. Chowning
On Tuesday the Middlesex County Supervisors directed county administrator Charles Culley to try to find a way to keep the county from spending any more money on the proposed sewage treatment plant to serve the Saluda area.
Pinetop District supervisors Fred Crittenden and Kenneth W. Williams said the sewage plant proposal was acceptable when economic times were good—but the economic situation is no longer good. “We’ve got to find a way to keep from spending money on this,” said Crittenden.
Culley said the county is still under contract with the engineering firm of Royer Malcolm Pirnie of Richmond, and the firm recently sent two engineers to a meeting on the proposed plant called by Delegate Harvey Morgan.
“We are going to have to pay for their representation at that meeting,” said Culley.
Culley also reminded supervisors that engineers will be needed to go before the State Water Control Board later this year when the proposed sewage permit will be reviewed.
So far, the cost of the proposed Saluda sewage plant project is just under $500,000, said Culley.
“We can’t keep doing this, especially when the state has said we can pump-and-haul [sewage] indefinitely,” said Crittenden. “It costs a whole lot less to pump-and-haul than to build a plant.”
The county has been pumping and hauling sewage from the Middlesex Courthouse Complex and Sheriff’s Office since June 2003 at a cost of about $25,000 to $35,000 per year. The proposed sewage plant, which would cost about $4 million, is viewed by some as a more permanent replacement for handling the sewage needs of the courthouse and Saluda area.