Staff recommends against joining regional sewer system

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Oct 02, 2013 - 01:18 PM

Gloucester’s public utilities director recommended that the county’s board of supervisors not enter into a regional sewer system during a meeting Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse.

According to Gloucester’s public utilities director Marty Schlesinger, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission contracted with engineering firm HDR to conduct a study to examine the feasibility of regionalization of the sewer collection systems that are connected to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).

Though Schlesinger said the regionalization of efforts could potentially save the entire Hampton Roads region about $948 million over the next 30 years, he said it currently costs his department less to maintain Gloucester’s system than what he receives from it in the form of user fees.

He also said that the $948 million figure was a very rough estimate and added that it appeared to be some "financial massaging" in the final 134-page report that he recently finished reviewing.

"The numbers presented in the study make it very attractive for us to give our assets to HRSD," Schlesinger said. "However, it does not make it clear what happens if we are the only locality to donate our infrastructure."