Boyce housing development shaping up

Posted: March 28, 2014

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — The plans for a 22-lot subdivision west of Boyce Elementary School may soon be ready for inspection by the town’s Planning Commission.

Engineer Ron Mislowsky, with Pennoni Associates in Winchester, got some final guidance from the Clarke County Sanitary Authority Tuesday afternoon on the placement of water and sewer lines for the planned development.

Pennoni needs to know where the lines should go before it can complete the engineering drawings needed to win town approval for the subdivision.

While the subdivision is within the town limits, Boyce does not own the water and sewer lines needed to build the houses. Approval for those lies with the Sanitary Authority.

Some authority members had misgivings about having the utility lines installed under the pavement of the access road to the homes.

It is expensive, Alexander “Dan” Mackay-Smith noted, to tear up and replace blacktop to reach a leaking pipe.

But member Ralph Welliver said the yards in front of the homes don’t offer much space for the water and sewer lines, especially when electrical and communications lines will have to go in the same area.

“There’s not enough room for everybody in the front yards,” Welliver said.

The authority agreed that its water lines could be placed at the edge of the roadway and the sewer main could be placed in the center of the new street.

Welliver said Pennoni will have to complete final engineering drawings, which will have to be approved by the authority’s consulting engineer.

The entire subdivision must still win approval from the Boyce Planning Commission and the Town Council.

In other business, following a closed session to discuss financial issues involved with the planned 100,000-gallon, elevated water storage tank in Millwood, authority members agreed to seek private financing to construct it.

The authority had been working with Chester Engineering to complete the paperwork necessary to win financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the $1.2 million estimated cost of the tank. But members agreed that it would be quicker and simpler to seek private financing.

Welliver noted that the authority would have more flexibility working with a private financial agency and the paperwork would take less time than through the USDA.

The public agency was offering a 40-year repayment period, longer than most private lending institutions would allow. But Chester engineer Larry Johnson said that would mean more time spent paying interest (though the individual payments would be lower).

Welliver thought the 4.5 percent interest rate offered by the USDA could be bettered in the private sector.

And, he added, the authority doesn’t need a 40-year repayment schedule.

Attending the meeting in the Joint Government Center were Chairman Ian Williams and members Joseph Myer, Alexander “Dan” Mackay-Smith and Ralph Welliver. Member A.R. “Pete” Dunning Jr. was absent.

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com