Fluvanna Supervisors to Sue Over School Bonds

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative

On August 3rd, Fluvanna’s Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to retain outside counsel to assist with: “any and all causes of action arising out of the issuance of debt instruments relating to the construction of the new high school.” First reported by FlucoBlog late last night, the decision came at the end of a closed session held after a marathon seven-hour meeting.

The action had been anticipated for quite some time. Supervisors have been frustrated almost since the beginning by the high interest rates charged for the school bonds, and the associated placement fees. Moreover, the county attorney’s fees have risen significantly in recent months, reflecting the ongoing preparations for the lawsuit.

According to FlucoBlog, Douglas M. Palais , of Eckert Seamens Cherin & Mellot will serve with county attorney Fred Payne in representing Fluvanna.

At the time of the original borrowing in 2008, former supervisor Gene Ott complained that he could have refinanced his home for a cheaper interest rate and wondered why tax-free municipal bonds had to pay nearly seven percent.

Filings are expected in the next few weeks.

Supervisors also took action on a number of other measures. They:

· Approved two water tower lease agreements in the Fork Union district for two cellular providers – US Cellular and Verizon;

· Agreed to switch to the self-insured health insurance program that was adopted earlier this year by the school board for its employees;

· Deferred action on a new services contract with the county’s SPCA in an effort to restart negotiations. Currently, there is a wide gap over proposed funding – the county had proposed no increase and the SPCA is looking for $25,000 for infrastructure improvements; and,

· Approved several budget carryover requests, most notably for an expansion of the Department of Social Services office space.

While the next regularly scheduled public meeting will be on September 7th, supervisors will hold a special work session on the budget on August 17th.

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William Des Rochers serves as Free Enterprise Forum’s Fluvanna County Field Officer.  The Free Enterprise Forum is a privately funded public policy organization covering Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson county as well as the City of Charlottesville.  If you find this update helpful, please consider financially supporting these efforts.

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One response

  1. Who are they going to sue? Themselves? The BoS went into the deal with their eyes wide open. They were warned repeatedly by several knowledgeable people, but they persisted in going ahead and accepted exorbitant interest rates. The BoS chairperson said, “We’ve waited long enough. We’re not waiting any longer.”

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