Route 8
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Route 8 Sewer and Water News

If you don’t live in Kent Island Estates, Romancoke, Tower Gardens, Queen Anne Colony, Kentmorr, Matapeake Estates, Chesapeake Estates – you may think this doesn’t affect you.

However it will affect your schools and roads – and likely your taxes.  Consider consultant’s study calculates 700 additional students and Level of Service on Rt 50 overpass/ramps and Rt 8 and intersections falling to E and F. 

And will there even be any environmental benefit after the resulting development and millions of dollars spent?  Pasted below is a explanation flyer.  You need to be aware of how this proposal will affect Kent Island and you.  Please share and comment.

What Does Southern Kent Island (SKI) Sewer Extension  Down Route 8 Mean to You?

Only You Know That Answer…..But Don’t Let it Take You By Surprise

Decisions are being made NOW that will have substantial financial obligations for YOU and will impact your way of life.

As an existing homeowner you have no voice other than you own.

Do not assume anyone else is representing your interest.

Vacant lot owners have retained lawyers, are well funded and have an organized campaign. 

Every resident has an obligation to ASK QUESTIONS NOW – EXPRESS YOUR OPINION

If you would like to sign a petition:  NO SEWER/NO WATER

Send Email to Route8Sewer@gmail.com

EMAIL NOW.   Send questions/comments to Todd Mohn, Director of Public Works tmohn@qac.org, copy  QAC Commissioners qacc@qac.org, and Route8Sewer@gmail.com

ATTEND next meeting of the Public Works Advisory Board, July 14, 4:00 p.m.  Kent Narrows Exploration Center, Piney Narrows Road.  You can ask questions/comment at 4:00.  This board is forwarding recommendations to County Commissioners.

READ the consultant’s draft report at www.qac.org (on left in red - Southern Kent Island Sanitary Project).  Specifically review Facilities Impacts and Financial Analysis. 

PAY ATTENTION.  This is not an easy issue.  It is complicated but it will affect you.  A great deal of money is involved –the amount you will have to pay as well as speculative profits to be made by some

Through recent years, many lots that were known to be non-buildable have been purchased as speculative investments, at reduced prices - such as tax sales. The 1600 vacant lot owners have been contacted privately and are well represented and well financed - with lawyers, website and expensive mailings.

The basis of this project is that vacant lot owners, who currently own non-buildable lots, would pay a “benefit assessment” based on an appraisal, because sewer would make their lot buildable and add value.  Example - what is a buildable lot in Queen Anne Colony worth versus one that is non-buildable?  The cost to existing homes will be determined mathematically  by the number of vacant lots served and the amount of this benefit assessment.  Similar method as Bay City and Cloverfields.

At the recent Public Information Meeting, local developers and many non-resident lot owners spoke about wanting to develop lot holdings but do not feel it is fair for them to pay this benefit assessment.  One argument is that property rights are being taken away.  Another side to the 
argument is that property rights were taken away when perc standards changed many years ago.  Under existing conditions, they do not have a right to build - and many lots were bought with this knowledge.

Water Service.  Decisions are being made about running water in addition to sewer, though it is acknowledged by the Health Department that water is not necessary for the purpose of the project.

  •  The addition of water is estimated to add $49,000,000 to the cost of the project and you will pay a water usage bill in addition to a sewer bill.  The estimate handed out was SEWER ONLY.
  • What will happen to your well?  Will you be able to keep it for outside use or will you be paying the county when you wash a car, water your plants or add water to a pool?
Adequate Public Facilities.  Existing Adequate Public Facilities (APF) regulations do not apply– only to new subdivisions of 5 or more homes.
  • The Consultant’s Report, Section V, Page 14, calculates 700 additional students.
  • Without APF what protection will there be for overcrowding of schools and roads?  How long will schools remain overcrowded.  Who will pay to purchase land and build new facilities required?
  • How will increased need for emergency services, police, fire be handled?  This is not addressed by the Consultant’s Report.
Route 8 Traffic Analysis.  The report shows that traffic on Route 8 will be greatly increased.
  • Current Level of Service (LOS) is  “A”. The traffic study for the sewer extension causes the LOS on Route 8 to fall to E and F (failed).  Consultant’s report, Section V, Page 10.
  • There are $89,936,000 of road improvements identified that will be necessary.  When will these road improvements be made - who will pay for them?  Will the residents be forced to pay for improvements themselves or be forced to live with E and F intersections?
  • How is a traffic light determined?  By number of accidents/injuries?
Will Environment Really be Improved?  The Consultant’s Report footnotes that NOT included in benefit/cost calculation is the “net value” of nitrogen and phosphorous due to subsequent increased amount of stormwater due to proposed development - Section VII, Page 12 (footnote). 
  • Does this mean things like 3200 additional cars on Route 8, with oil, grease, asbestos, antifreeze, chemicals, trash, were not considered?  Agriculture, cars and stormwater are the biggest sources of nitrogen in the Bay (National Geographic “What’s Flushing into the Bay”).
  • Commissioner Wargotz (now campaigning for U.S. Senate) stated at the Public Meeting his full support for full build out of sewer and water because “Southern Kent Island is a Growth Area”.   It is not a growth area - he was corrected by Commissioner Fordonski .  Is this the end result of a sewer line paid for by a select number of citizens? 
Are all alternatives being considered?
  • Right now a failing septic system can be addressed with new BNR system.  As of July 1, individual counties will administer the existing State “Flush Fund” that provides a 100% grant for BNR system.  First priority is given for a failed system within the critical area.
  • The Consultant’s Report does not explore newer technology options and small high-tech plants that could be placed for use in the problem areas.
Everyone asks “How much will it cost me?” 
  • At this point, any costs are projections - whether ultimately under or over budget, you will pick up the tab.  The report references 20 year loans and maybe grants.  What will be available in this economy?  What happens to people unable to afford this?
  • All costs are dependent on the number of vacant lots and whether or not any “benefit assessment” is charged to the lots and the amount  the assessment.  An Estimated Cost handout was given at the Public Information Meeting.  You can email Route8Sewer@gmail.com for a copy or access it on www.qac.org.  Note that this was for Sewer Only – the addition of water would be higher.

  • If you pay the entire cost, what happens in the future when someone else hooks in?  How much will they pay?  Who will they pay?  Will you be reimbursed?  Will you be paying to create a growth area that could ultimately allow other vacant lands on Route 8 to develop at lesser cost?
 
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