By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative
Board Chairman Marvin Moss (Columbia) announced at the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors meeting on November 18th that the Board would take no action on the James River Water Authority (JRWA) or the waterline until the new Board assumes office in January.
There was some concern that the lame duck Board might try to push through measures – such as bond financing – before the new, and more conservative, Board took over. However, when it became clear that there likely would have to be a bond referendum, there was little the incumbent Board could do.
It is quite possible that the next Board will replace the current Fluvanna representatives to the JRWA. This would be a popular decision with many in the community who believe that the current representatives are too closely aligned with the current supervisor majority.
Separately, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed an appeal regarding the legality of the JRWA. Brought by Mr. Doug Johnson (a newly elected School Board member), the appeal was dismissed on technical grounds, before the arguments could be heard.
On another financial matter, supervisors were briefed on the option to refinance the school bond issue. This Board likely will authorize the bond counsel to prepare the necessary documents but will defer any refinancing commitment until January.
The county’s bond advisor agreed to provide a more detailed briefing on the subject in January, particularly since it was clear that most, if not all, supervisors simply did not understand the proposed mechanism that would be used to implement the refinancing.
The supervisors declared Fluvanna a “Recovery Zone” in order to enable the county’s Economic Development Authority to consider issuance of up to $1.1 million in “recovery zone facility bonds”. This amount was allocated to the county under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The county qualified for the funds because of a significant increase in unemployment.
The first application for the funds is expected to be from Friendship Camp Inc. to construct an indoor swimming facility. The county’s full faith and credit is not pledged for the bonds, which will be issued commercially.
The Board also signed a contract with Davenport and Company LLC to serve as bond advisor to the county. The new Board may revisit this.