By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative
With minimum debate on the subject, the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors on October 19th finally agreed to hire a full-time economic development director. The vote was 4-2 — supervisors Weaver (Cunningham) and Fairchild (Rivanna) dissented.
The issue over hiring a full-time director has lingered for years in the county; previously the county could agree only to hire part time personnel, and those directors did not stay for long. At one point, supervisors voted to fund a full-time position but it never was filled.
Initially, the economic development office will be a small endeavor. The director’s salary will be less than $50,000, and the entire office is budgeted for just $108,000 annually.
The Board spent several minutes wrangling over whether or not it also should hire consultants to analyze the economic prospects for the county and include rates of return for various development proposals. While the supervisors took no action on the matter, they informally agreed to take up the idea sometime in the future.
In other matters, supervisors:
· Agreed to assume its financial share ($460,000) of the Central Virginia Regional Jail expansion;
· Were informed that the county’s CSA (Community Services Act) program finished with a small ($38,000) surplus at the close of its fiscal year, and that the expenditures per child were less than 80 percent of the statewide average.
Three business owners addressed the Board with concerns that the supervisors were considering a 5 percent BPOL tax. Chairman John Gooch (Palmyra) stated that a BPOL tax was not under consideration at the present time. However, several supervisors have, in the past, seemed favorably disposed towards establishing such a tax, with some safeguards for small businesses in the county.
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.
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