Town of Vinton, Virginia Government / Western Virginia Water Authority
Town of Vinton Council issues Resolution of Intent to have formal discussions with the Western Virginia Water Authority Board of Directors regarding the Authority’s ownership and operation of the Town’s public water distribution and treatment system and the sanitary sewer collection system.
Vinton, VA: Preliminary discussions have taken place over the past several months between staff and officials with the Town of Vinton (Town), Roanoke County and the Western Virginia Water Authority (Authority) regarding the Authority’s ownership and operation of the Town’s public water distribution and treatment system and the sanitary sewer collection system. At the Town of Vinton Council Meeting tonight, a Resolution of Intent to have formal discussions with the Western Virginia Water Authority Board of Directors regarding the Authority’s ownership and operation of the Town’s utility system was approved. Discussions to finalize this acquisition will take place over the next several months, and it is anticipated that all parties will officially approve this proposal by July 1, 2022 to provide the best long-term rate and infrastructure stability, service, and water quality for current and future customers of both the Town and the Authority.
The proposal calls for customers who are currently served by the Town's utility system to become customers of the Western Virginia Water Authority. There will be no Town or Authority jobs lost due to this acquisition.
Working together regionally provides better rate stability, drought protection, infrastructure planning and maintenance for all customers. With this acquisition, customers in the Town of Vinton will receive a high level of service and an investment in water supply, treatment and delivery that is more readily available on the larger scale that the Authority can offer. The Town will also be able to focus more of its time and funding on important community development projects such as transportation enhancements, improving the Town’s walkability, and improving storm water management.
“We want to build up our community and to give extra support to those projects that help make us special. Having the Authority provide high quality utility service while we focus on enhancing the look and feel of the Town is a win-win for Vinton,” said Mayor Bradley E. Grose.
The Authority currently meets the drinking water and sanitary sewer needs of a regional population of over 155,000 in the City of Roanoke and the Counties of Roanoke, Franklin and Botetourt. The addition of the approximately 5,200 Town of Vinton customers will provide an even larger base in which to spread the organization’s operational and capital expenses. The Western Virginia Water Authority is fully funded by ratepayers. Having a larger base of customers allows the per customer operational and capital expense of maintaining and enhancing the utility system to be minimized.
This multijurisdictional model supports economic development in the valley through high quality and quantity of water, sewage treatment capacity and competitive rate structures. When the Western Virginia Water Authority was formed in 2004, it was created to enhance the well-being and quality of life for the regional community. “Being a regional leader is one of the four points in our vision statement” said Michael McEvoy, Executive Director Western Virginia Water Authority. “By working together, we create a stronger utility system that benefits all our customers and economic development opportunities.”
Both water and wastewater issues are multi-jurisdictional in nature; therefore, the most efficient and effective way to manage and utilize the Roanoke Valley’s water and wastewater potential is regionally. This model has proven to be successful with the formation of the Authority in 2004 as well as the additions of Franklin County in 2009, Botetourt County in 2015 and the Town of Boones Mill just last month.
Groundwater wells are currently used to provide drinking water for Town residents and businesses. After the acquisition of the Town’s system, some residents will continue to receive their drinking water from these groundwater wells. Where feasible, the Authority will utilize existing water distribution interconnections to allow water from the Carvins Cove Reservoir to supply homes and businesses with treated drinking water. Engineering studies will be conducted to determine if and how new distribution lines and water sources, including Carvins Cove, can be used to provide water in the Town to even more customers. The groundwater wells in the Town of Vinton will be maintained so that they can provide an additional source of water if needed in the future.
Sanitary sewer for Town customers is currently transported through pipes to the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant for treatment. Customers will continue to receive the same high level of service provided by this facility, and the sewer pipe infrastructure in the Town will be maintained by the Authority.
Once the acquisition is approved, customers in the Town of Vinton will transition to billing by the Western Virginia Water Authority and will receive monthly bills based on the prior month’s consumption. The Town currently bills customers every two months. A customer of the Authority who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month currently pays $28.75 for water and $35.25 for sewer service. Town customers pay $28.97 a month for 5,000 gallons of water and $37.38 a month for sewer (based on 5,000 gallons of water consumption). It is anticipated that rates would be equalized with the Authority rates in effect July 1, 2022.
Staff from the Town of Vinton, Roanoke County and the Western Virginia Water Authority will hold a public information open house meeting on January 25th at the Vinton War Memorial from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm to answer questions from customers, citizens and business owners.
ABOUT THE WESTERN VIRGINIA WATER AUTHORITY
The Western Virginia Water Authority was formed in 2004 to be a regional utility. Water serive is now provided to about 64,000 customer accounts in the City of Roanoke and the Counties of Roanoke, Franklin County and Botetourt. Sanitary wastewater service is provided for the greater Roanoke Valley. Additional information on the Authority is available on our website at www.westernvawater.org.
Founded in 1884, Vinton is a family and business friendly community, located in eastern Roanoke County and just minutes from Downtown Roanoke. Vinton retains a small town feel with a traditional main street filled with numerous recreation, cultural, dining and shopping options and countless seasonal community events, parades and festivals. Vinton is a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smith Mountain Lake and home of the Vinton War Memorial and High Ground Veteran's Monument. The town is proud of its history from its growth as blue collar rail town to a current mix of pleasant traditional neighborhoods and developed commercial corridors. Additional information about the Town is available online at www.vintonva.gov.
Cody Sexton, Assistant Town Manager
Sarah Baumgardner, Director of Public Relations
Western Virginia Water Authority
Office 540.283.2905/ Cell 540.915.1868