New regional jail will build its own wastewater treatment plant

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald The Warren Sentinel
FRONT ROYAL – The RSW Regional Jail under construction on U.S. 522 in Warren County will have its own wastewater treatment plant, saving thousands that would have been spent on sewer fees.

Members of the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail voted during their regular Jan. 24 meeting at the Warren County Government Center to build a $1,336,034 wastewater treatment plant at the site of the jail. Approval for the plant has already been granted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Carrie Henaghan of the Richmond design firm Moseley Architects told the Authority a vote was needed right away in order to design and build the treatment plant in order for it to be operational when the jail opens in July of 2014. The design phase alone takes about 83 days.

“So, there’s not really any room in this schedule to keep delaying without some consequences,” Henaghan said in a presentation to the Authority.

The options Henaghan presented for treating wastewater at the jail included building a small plant to use water from a cistern for laundry, constructing a larger plant which would make it unnecessary to connect to the Town of Front Royal’s sewer system or hooking into the town’s water and sewer systems and paying the related fees.

The second option – the one chosen by the Authority – saves $426,903 in sewer connection fees and more over the life of the facility. Henaghan said that option would pay for itself within five years.

The treatment facility will be financed through the jail’s contingency fund, which is $2.4 million. Although some Jail Authority members expressed concern about dipping so far into the contingency fund, they were swayed by the savings in fees.

“These kinds of numbers are impossible to ignore. It’s just too much savings too fast,” Jail Authority member John McCarthy said. “A five-year payback is almost impossible to ignore.”

Jail Authority member Daniel Murray Jr. agreed.

“If it was our decision for our own home I think we would go in favor of something like that,” Murray said.

Design work on the new plant will be done by Patton Harris Rust & Associates of Winchester.

Henaghan told the Authority design costs will be about $175,000. That figure was included in the $1.3 million cost Henaghan gave the Authority for the wastewater treatment plant.

Construction of the $84 million, 375-bed jail remains on schedule, with a significant portion of the building under roof, consultant James Marstin told the Authority during the meeting.

Attending the meeting were Jail Authority Chairman Douglas Stanley and members Daniel McEathron, Tim Carter, John McCarthy, and Daniel Murray Jr. Connie Smith, Douglas Walker and Conrad Helsley were absent.
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