Western Virginia Water Authority to own and operate Vinton water and sewer system

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:54 PM EST
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Town of Vinton has gotten the ball rolling on the Western Virginia Water Authority’s ownership and operation of its public water distribution and treatment system, and the sanitary sewer collection system.

A resolution establishing the intent for the Authority to own and operate the town’s utility system was approved at the town council meeting Tuesday night.

Town of Vinton Mayor Brad Grose says preliminary discussions have taken place over the past several months about the acquisition, and that it’s a win-win for all parties.

Finalizing the acquisition will take several months, anticipating full approval by all parties by July 1, 2022.

The proposal calls for customers who are currently served by the Town’s utility system to become customers of the Western Virginia Water Authority.

Customers transitioning to billing by the Western Virginia Water Authority will notice a new monthly bill, compared to being billed every two months by the town.

“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),” stated the Town of Vinton in the release.

Town officials say there will be no jobs lost from the acquisition by either party, and this change will allow the town to focus more of its time and funding on transportation enhancements, improving the Town’s walkability, and improving stormwater management.

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, with the Town of Boones Mill being acquired as of last month.

Approximately 5,200 Town of Vinton customers will be added as a result.

The Western Virginia Water Authority is fully funded by ratepayers, and with a larger base of customers, will allow minimized operational and capital expense.

Sanitary sewer for Town customers is currently transported through pipes to the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant for treatment. Service will still be provided by this facility, but the sewer pipe infrastructure in the Town will be maintained by the Authority.

It is anticipated 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 January 25 at the Vinton War Memorial from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. to answer questions from customers, citizens and business owners.

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