At Monday night’s meeting of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors a lengthy discussion ensued regarding the construction of a new EMS building. Chris Thomas, Northampton’s Director of Public Works and Operations, went over the current plans being discussed for the building. However, there seemed to be some disagreement as to whether or not moving forward with the project at the current site was the prudent thing to do. Supervisor Robert Duer pointed out it was not wise to invest in a building that will be in use for decades without seeing the numbers for EMS calls in the County. Another issue is the site itself. The property is located on what used to be Lankford Highway. The highway was moved, but there is still debris on the lot from the road. Supervisor Dave Fauber commented it was a good location, but did concede at some point there would be to be another location built to service the southern tip of Northampton County to cover the growth in Cape Charles, Kiptopeke State Park, Cherrystone and Sunset Beach.
Regardless of where the building is built, it is currently being planned to either be a 40×60 or a 40×80 metal building with three bays for storage of the Northampton EMS vehicles. The construction is anticipated to cost around $325,000 and Murray expects the money will come from currently unused bond funds. County Administrator Charles Kolakowski emphasized this building will be used for a long time, so it was important to get the details right.
Murray also made clear that the dredging of Willis Wharf needed to begin.
According to Thomas, the work can’t begin until the fall, and the biggest hang up has been finding a suitable spoil site. Just recently, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality informally agreed the problems they previously identified with the spoil site have been addressed. Board Chairman Spencer Murray stressed a path to complete this project needs to be cleared.
The estimated cost to dredge the harbor is $390,000. It was last dredged in 2000.
Finally, a renovation of Morley’s Wharf is underway. A firm from Chincoteague was awarded the project and it is expected to be completed by mid March.