By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative
On October 7th, Fluvanna’s Board of Supervisors postponed establishing an agreement with the recently established James River Water Authority and Louisa County until its next meeting, scheduled for October 21st. The draft agreement establishes the responsibilities for the three entities. According to the briefing materials provided to the supervisors, the delay may preclude obtaining state loans this year.
The agreement appears to be “front loaded” financially for the Authority, at the expense of both counties. For example, certain payments in advance are required and disputed payments, resolved in favor of the Authority, require high interest payments.
One new wrinkle for Fluvanna is that Louisa County will be required to purchase half of the land that the Authority uses at Pleasant Grove for the water treatment plant. The Agreement also mandates this water treatment plant to be included in the first phase of pipeline development, which calls into question whether or not Aqua Virginia could have a role in the project.
Supervisors also approved a $1 million contract for the Kent Store firehouse in the Columbia District, and agreed to request construction bids for the Fork Union firehouse, which has received federal grant funds.
The League of Women Voters held its Candidate Forum the night before the Board meeting and although all local candidates [except one] were present, only the School Board candidates seemed to generate much spark. Based upon the candidates’ statements, it is likely that the new School Board will hold the school administration to a much higher accountability and transparency standards than does the current Board.
The cost of the new high school, as well as reports of high administrative salaries have spurred repeated calls for more fiscal transparency and greater fiscal responsibility.
In a major supervisor race, Board Chairman Marvin Moss (Columbia) defended his record and accomplishments and ignored attacks by challenger Shaun Kenney, who described Mr. Moss as divisive and one who ignores the will of the people.
Virginia House Delegate Rob Bell (R) said he would not seek revision of the Dillon Rule, which limits local autonomy, but his opponent, Cynthia Neff (D), pointed out how the rule could be overly restrictive, leaving the door open to the possibility of change.