By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
According to an individual present at the James River Water Authority meeting held earlier today, Louisa County officials told their Fluvanna counterparts that absent a deal by mid-August, Louisa would back out of a joint water line venture.
Louisa officials also intimated that should this occur, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality would probably rescind the James River water withdrawal permit. Should that happen, Fluvanna would have to rely on the Rivanna River to serve customers in other parts of the county.
Louisa further reminded Fluvanna that it also would serve the state correctional facility for women in the Zion Crossroads area, something that Louisa had deferred as an incentive for Fluvanna’s cooperation – Fluvanna would have been awarded that business.
On August 4th, Fluvanna’s Board of Supervisors established a subcommittee to change the service agreement between the two counties and the water authority.
Whether the subcommittee can reach an agreement within Louisa in ten days is doubtful. Fluvanna officials had hoped that the private sector would agree to set up a special taxing district to minimize the use of public funds. Even if that were successful, there is no guarantee that the district would be financially viable to assume the waterline repayment obligations — something that would take months to determine.
Should Louisa terminate the agreement, then for practical purposes the James River Water Authority also would end since there would be no reason for the joint authority to exist.