Current Status (2020)
Presently, the Town of Hurt’s wastewater system only serves the Main Street area of town (generally from Southern Virginia Multimodal Park to Family Dollar), including: Town Hall, Staunton River Family Physicians, Faith Christian Academy, St. Victoria Catholic, and Staunton Plaza. Otherwise, the remainder of town utilizes individual septic systems.
Proposed Future Expansion (as of February 23, 2020)
Over recent years, numerous residents and a few businesses have presented Town Council with concerns over an increasing number of properties experiencing septic system dysfunction due to inadequate percolation. This is a natural phenomenon caused by local geology, and it presents sizable challenges for residential or commercial development.
On February 18, 2020, and following a recent engineering study of Hurt’s current and anticipated future capital needs for its municipal water and wastewater systems, consultants presented Town Council and the Planning Commission with results and recommendations. The study took into account that a vast majority of septic system issues are concentrated in one section of Hurt — not scattered across the town as a whole. Relevant local factors such as demographics, economics, geography, history, topography, and the like were considered in the study as well.
While study results reveal multiple options to address the growing need for public wastewater service in Hurt, the official first-choice recommendation was received as the most realistic and practical one. Specifically, they recommend (for the foreseeable future) running the new service only into a defined area of town where the greatest need has been identified, while allowing for future expansions into other areas on an as-needed basis.
If and when pursued, this will be a substantial capital project for Hurt. The processes involved are complex and lengthy, playing out over a few years, not months. We are currently at a very early, preliminary stage, and the project remains hypothetical. We are compiling information as to benefits, costs, extent of public need and interest, funding sources, impacts, and more. In other words… we are “doing our homework” before making any major decisions as to any potential projects. The public is advised that nothing is a “done deal” at this time, and before the town actually initiates such a project, public hearings would be held to receive community input.
Frequently Asked Questions/Answers RE Proposed Town Wastewater Expansion
1. What portion of Hurt would be included in the project as currently proposed? The identified area encompasses approximately 200 homes along the following streets: the west side of Prospect Road (from Hurt Elementary School to the intersection of Cemetery Road); School Road (south side only) from HES to Lynn Street intersection; and all (both sides) of… Lynn, West Spencer, Grove, Oak, High, Ramsey, and Spring. The remainder of the town would NOT be involved.
2. In terms of time frame, what might the people be looking at? Even if the town were to “jump” on the project immediately, the schedule would be generally along the lines of: obtain funding (early 2021); bidding process (early 2022); begin construction (mid 2022); commence operation (mid 2023). Obviously, about 3 and 1/2 years at the earliest.
3. Would everyone in town be required to pay a wastewater utility bill to build, maintain, and operate the system for only a fraction of the town that needs it? NO! Only those in the defined area (who would be the ones using the system) would be billed for town wastewater.
4. About how much is the proposed project expected to cost, and how would Hurt go about paying for it? The preliminary estimate is $5 million, with about $2.8 million from VA Rural Development (RD) grant funding, 2.1 million as an RD long-term loan, and $200,000 in Tobacco Commission grant. Keep in mind that these figures are very preliminary and are only useful as a starting point for conversation. State requirements have to be met for grants or loans to localities, and are subject to change and/or state appropriations.
5. Do we have any idea what the cost of town wastewater service might translate into for the average household? Obviously, there can be no definite numbers at this point. A very preliminary estimate from the study would be something on the scale of $52/month. That is based on a $110/quarter minimum charge for service + $7,000 per 1,000 gallons. Again, there are still several unknowns that will take time to resolve.
What advantage(s) is/are there to having municipal wastewater vs. a septic system? A town system eliminates having to repeatedly perform costly work on septic systems that won’t function correctly. The town maintains the system using utility revenue already being paid for the service. Having a public system also tends to improve property values.
7. Who should I contact for additional information? Public Works Coordinator Ed Hodges can assist with items not already covered on the page above. Please call the public works cell phone at (434) 546-5435 or email: email@example.com
This page last updated: Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 5:22 PM