The Appomattox River Water Authority (ARWA) met Wednesday to discuss service extension, financial obligations and the service agreement.
Chesterfield County Administrator, James J. L. Stegmaier, said Chesterfield is interested in pursuing a $5 million grant to raise the Brasfield Dam. ARWA is not pursuing the grant, which requires a $5 million match.
“I think we could have a proposal that would say under these circumstances, Chesterfield would be interested in raising the dam,” Stegmaier said.
The board is interested in raising the dam, but raised concerns of ownership of the water in the event Chesterfield pays for the required $5 million match. Dinwiddie County Administrator, W. Kevin Massengill, said Dinwiddie County opposes the dam raise for scientific reasons.
“Dinwiddie made a decision that predicated three separate reviews that concluded a sense of necessity isn’t there,” Massengill said. “What does this do for the Army Corps of Engineers? What does this do to the wetlands? What does this do to our existing permit? If it has to be reevaluated, do we maintain that favorable permit?”
Massengill does interpret the grant as allowing any of the five ARWA members pursuing the project independently. In other words, Dinwiddie’s opposition is not deterrent of Chesterfield raising the dam.
There is no action being taken to raise the dam, but Chesterfield will be presenting a resolution to its Board of Supervisors to match the $5 million grant funds.
Another draft of the service agreement will be distributed to the five counties that comprise ARWA. The board approved the hiring of Mark E. Rubin, Esq. of the McCammon Group to act as a mediator in the process.
Rubin said he will not be offering a solution on the service agreement, because that would not be mediation. Rubin will gather facts and investigate the desires of ARWA’s members independently in hopes that a resolution will emerge satisfying each of the counties.
The Branders Pump Station and Ground Tank is an item of contention as the project’s cost is of little benefit to the group as a whole, but is a necessity to Prince George County’s service during peak days in the summer.
The pump and ground tank would provide an estimated capacity of six million gallons a day to meet the needs of Prince George and Colonial Heights. The cost would come in at just over $3.5 million after a calculated savings of $1.6 that resulted from a study completed by WW Associates.
The next ARWA meeting will be held on July 21 at 2 P.M. at 21300 Chesdin Rd., Petersburg, VA 23803. Items to be discussed will include mediation, the service agreement and election of a vice-chair.
Benjamin May/Prince George Journal
Appomattox River Water Authority Facilities on Chesdin Rd.