By Stefanie Jackson – New Road Community Development Group wants to build 30 new homes in Exmore, and Executive Director Ava Wise has requested a letter of support from the town, Town Manager Robert Duer announced April 5.
The homes will be individually owned townhouses built on the west side of Route 13, between the shopping center and Holiday Inn, he said.
The town council consented to writing the letter of support.
Duer added that the owner of Peter Cartwright Manor, on Willis Wharf Road, is interested in building a second apartment building.
He noted that the two housing projects combined would create about 80 new sewer connections for Exmore.
A Virginia State Corporation Commission moratorium on utility shutoffs continues, Duer said, meaning services cannot be disconnected if customers don’t pay their utility bills.
Exmore is receiving less revenue but spending more resources as sewer customers leave bills unpaid and damage equipment.
Duer emphasized the need for the town to reach an agreement with its landlords regarding utilities. Town officials agreed utility bills should be in the names of homeowners, not renters, to avoid situations in which renters don’t pay the bills, then move out of town, essentially guaranteeing that Exmore will never be able to collect the amounts due.
That’s one “gamble” Exmore made by choosing to partner with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HSRD) to provide future sewer service to the town, Duer said.
HRSD will expect to be paid for its services whether Exmore gets paid or not, he pointed out.
Exmore met the April 1 deadline to apply for up to $1 million in funding for its sewer project from a Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development block grant.
Other possible funding sources include the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, from which Exmore requested a $6 million loan. The town anticipates one-third of the loan principal, or about $2 million, may be forgiven.
Exmore also was advised to request a $10 million loan from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Chief Angelo DiMartino said March was a busy month for the Exmore Police Department, and its recent accomplishments have included:
- An illegal gambling operation called Lucky 13 was shut down following an undercover investigation.
- Counterfeiting has been reduced; several individuals were using counterfeit $100 bills at local businesses, making small purchases of around $5 each to launder the money, DiMartino stated.
- During a routine traffic stop, Officer Brandon Parks apprehended a man who was wanted in Florida for murder and other crimes.
- A review of police body camera footage showed that officers properly assisted, on separate occasions, two individuals suffering from drug overdoses. Both were administered Narcan, a nasal spray for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose, and attended until emergency medical personnel arrived.
- A training session on gun safety was held for area Boy Scouts, with a reminder to parents that it is unlawful to leave a loaded weapon unattended around children.
- Police officers responded to three reported crashes last month, including one in which a vehicle was struck from behind after it slowed down at a yellow traffic light.
- Officer Chip Little has been working with town residents to ensure they clear their properties of trash and debris. Many large cleanup projects have been completed.
- Officer Eddie Diaz, the newest member of the Exmore Police Department, has been performing well during his field training and soon will be able to work independently, DiMartino said.
In another matter, the town council approved advertising Exmore’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022, totaling about $2 million, less than the current annual budget.
Duer said as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, Exmore will continue to keep spending to a minimum.
A public hearing on the FY 2022 budget will be held Monday, May 3, 7 p.m.