FREDERICKSBURG FREE LANCE-STAR, JAMES BARON
Continued efforts on Capitol Hill by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger could mean important infrastructure improvements in Spotsylvania County will be made, if the legislation clears the Senate later this year.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 220–207 to pass the so-called “minibus,” a $400 billion spending package for the coming fiscal year. The package includes Spanberger’s request for just over $6.4 million in upgrades at Spotsylvania’s Motts Run Water Treatment Plant, as well as funds to design and replace the aging water tower on U.S. 1 about one mile south of Cosner’s Corner at Ondura Drive.
The proposal must now clear the Senate.
Connor Joseph, who serves as communications director for Spanberger, said he expects the appropriations package will get to the Senate by this fall.
“It made it through House committees, so it’s cleared a couple hurdles,” Joseph said. “Our office is optimistic it will pass through the Senate.”
Of the $6,452,972 approved by the House earlier this week, $3,452,972 will go toward the second phase of the water plant’s expansion project. County officials say it’s work that needs to be done to help meet the demands of the growing number of residents and businesses who have moved to the region since the plant first opened in 1999.
Ben Loveday, assistant county administrator, said the additional funding for the project will eventually result in a doubling of the Spotsylvania plant’s current capacity of 12 million gallons-per-day. Loveday said that boost will also help meet the county’s growing water demands for residents and businesses in both Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg through 2045.
“The county has experienced a rise in water consumption averaging just over 2% in annual increases for the past 10 years,” Loveday said. “The Motts (Run) Water Treatment Plant expansion project will provide water service stability and reliability for the region as this growth continues into the future.”
The remaining $3 million approved by the House on Wednesday is targeted to design and construct a new 1 million-gallon water tower that will replace the aging 250,000 gallon tank just south of Cosner’s Corner.
County officials said the bigger new tank will be constructed near Massaponax High School and will provide better service to residents, businesses and even emergency response crews.
“The larger tank size also reinforces our fire service operations by providing additional flow duration in the event that it is needed during firefighting efforts,” Loveday said.
Four months ago, Spanberger also helped the region by securing $1.84 million for the expansion of the Motts Run plant after President Joe Biden endorsed her legislation.