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Jail keeps plan for stormwater cistern

Facility to use original design, build needed pipes but not connect to town's sewer system

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The RSW Regional Jail Authority decided Thursday to keep its original design of the facility and include a stormwater cistern, but not connect it to Front Royal's wastewater system.

Earlier this week, the Town Council turned down the proposal from the jail authority to allow the pumping of used rainwater into Front Royal's sewage system, because of capacity concerns. The water would be used to do laundry and in the cooling tower at the jail, which is expected to open in 2014.

During a Thursday meeting of the authority, Tony Bell, of Moseley Architects, presented three alternatives: Connect to the town's domestic water system for all uses; use an on-site stormwater treatment facility; or keep the original design of the stormwater cistern and construct the necessary pipes, but not connect to the town's sewer system.

He explained that the third option would allow for a future connection, if the town deemed it possible to take on the extra water at some point.

Authority members discussed the second option of sending the water to a stormwater facility on site, but decided against it after realizing the added cost -- $270,000 -- and possibility of not even getting it approved.

The authority agreed that flexibility was key in making these kinds of decisions, so it went with the third option.

"Option number three gives us the flexibility to change in the future, and also not having to re-engineer the entire project," said Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy. He added that the cost and minimal savings of option two didn't outweigh those associated with option three.

In other matters, the authority:

• Plans to advertise bid day in the local newspapers, hoping to attract local contractors.

• Discussed potential issues with transportation to the jail for Shenandoah, Warren and Rappahannock counties, and plans to address them before the jail opens.

• Learned that the building permit is still in review, and should be receiving comments within the next two weeks. Bell advised the authority not to advertise for bid day until all comments were addressed, and they had verbal and written approval from the building inspector.

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