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New Market eyes ways to save, make money

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

NEW MARKET -- Town officials saved money and reviewed a plan to bring more of it in last week.

During a series of monthly committee meetings on Aug. 3, Town Council members approved a bid for the construction of the pump station and force main to Broadway's regional wastewater treatment plant in Timberville, which came in millions under budget, and got its first look at an economic development plan.

Town Manager Chris Boies said Tuesday that the winning construction bid recommended for approval by the public works committee, from Commonwealth Excavating in Verona, is $3.6 million, when the project was expected to cost $7 million.

Stimulus money that the town will receive can now pay for the entire project, he said.

"We were expecting from the beginning to shell out $7 million," Boies said. "Now we'll only shell out for engineering costs."

If its bid is approved by the full council later this month, Commonwealth Excavating should begin construction sometime in September.

Town intern Adam Facetti has been working on the economic development plan this summer, and presented a portion of it to the tourism, economic development and historic preservation committee Aug. 3. The document, which is available online at the town Web site, contains an overview of New Market and information for prospective businesses.

Within the next week, Boies said, the most important part of the plan -- the implementation of the goals laid out in it -- should be completed.

In the overview, New Market's strengths include its historic character, increased sewer capacity, low crime rate, strong labor force and proximity to highways and tourist attractions. Some weaknesses include a limited tax base, limited business diversity, low population and older infrastructure.

As for business diversity, there is some change for the better currently taking place, Boies said. A Subway recently opened in New Market while an Italian restaurant, the Italian Job, is doing well and a seafood store will soon open on East Lee Highway, he said.

Also, the New Market Planning Commission recommended approval Aug. 3 of a conditional-use permit for Andy Phillips to operate a dry cleaning business at 9365 N. Congress St., Boies said.

According to a staff report, a 2002 survey of town residents found that a dry cleaning business was something that was wanted in the community. In 2005, a similar application from Phillips was approved, but expired because of non-use the following year.

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