By Stefanie Jackson – The Exmore Town Council held a public hearing Monday night on its application for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant funding for its sewer project.
The project will include the installation of new sewer pipes throughout town, followed by the decommissioning of Exmore’s sewer treatment plant, which will no longer be needed since a Hampton Roads Sanitation District force main will transport the town’s wastewater to Onancock’s treatment plant, which has capacity to spare.
Exmore will be relieved of a Virginia Department of Health consent order and can provide sewer service to the whole town instead of the 350 customers to which it is currently limited.
Exmore is seeking grant funding from multiple sources, including U.S. Economic Development Administration disaster funds, since the town cannot afford to borrow more than $5 million of the project’s total cost, which is ever climbing, said Town Manager Robert Duer.
According to November meeting minutes, the town is $5 million short of the funds needed to complete the project.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria also is seeking federal funding for the project on Exmore’s behalf.
Duer said the “day of reckoning” is near, and Exmore should receive news about grant funding within 45 to 60 days.
Police Chief Angelo DiMartino reported that Exmore has been experiencing issues with drivers speeding in town.
Earlier this month, Officer Eddie Diaz responded to a motorist driving 67 mph in a 35 mph zone on Main Street. When Diaz stopped the vehicle, the driver failed to identify himself correctly, then sped off but crashed near the intersection of Seaside Road and Oakland Drive.
Also recently, Officer Brandon Parks stopped a driver traveling 72 mph on Main Street, and Officer Tyler Hinman caught a driver speeding at 93 mph on Belle Haven Road.
“We’re getting some crazy speeds in town,” DiMartino said. He advised citizens to call the police department if they observe speeding so Exmore officers can monitor the location.
Diaz also was involved in a Nov. 14 vehicle crash in Exmore on Route 13, near McDonald’s. He had a green light and was turning northbound onto the highway from Broadwater Road when a pickup truck traveling northbound ran a red light and struck another vehicle and Diaz’s police car.
Diaz was uninjured but there’s a “99% chance” the police car was totaled because the frame was bent in the accident, Duer said.
He warned the Town Council to expect an upcoming expenditure to replace the police car, a 2014 Chevrolet Impala. But that’s “why we have the capital improvement fund,” he said.
DiMartino added that the driver who was at fault in the crash is insured, so the driver’s insurance will help pay to replace the police car.