Big decision coming for Victoria council

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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The Town of Victoria has a big decision to make about its waste water system in the coming weeks.

Due to both the town’s East and the West sewer treatment facilities being out of compliance with the standards of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Victoria’s Town Council is faced with the choice of upgrading both the East and West facilities or upgrading the East facility and closing the West facility. That would mean the town would spend money pumping the sewage from the West facility to the East facility. Town Manager Rodney Newton has said the East facility does have the capacity to handle the entire town’s waste water treatment needs.

Neither choice will be inexpensive. According to the minutes of Victoria’s August 11 Town Council meeting, the cost will be between $3.1 million and $3.5 million. Newton is working to get grants to help offset the cost of the project. One grant has been finalized with the federal government. Newton plans to apply for a state grant in September.

A new timeline negotiated with DEQ after a recent fine for non-compliance of the waste water treatment plant requires the town to submit A preliminary engineering report about how the town will fix the waste water treatment plant issue is due to DEQ by September 1.

A work session for the council to discuss the town’s alternatives has been set for Monday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the town office. The council will go over the preliminary engineering report from B&B Consultants.

DEQ recently reduced the amount the town was fined for recent waste water treatment violations by half to $2,310.

In other waste water related news, the town council voted to increase sewer rates by $2 per month for each customer effective October 1. The increase was approved earlier in the year as a way to help offset the cost of the waste water improvements, but the actual increase was not put into effect by the town council until October.