Fluvanna: Zion Waterline a Moneymaker?

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission  (TJPDC) presented its Return on Investment Study of the Zion Crossroads Water/Sewer lines to the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors at its June 6th meeting. The organization sees a positive financial return for the county should it be built.

Steve Williams TJPDC Photo Credit Greene County RecordTJPDC Executive Director Stephen Williams (photo right) provided a presentation indicating that even with slow growth in the Zion Crossroads area over the next ten years, the county will receive a positive net revenue stream in excess of $2 million. Without bringing water and sewer to the region, Fluvanna would suffer a financial loss of about $4.8 million over the same time period according to the TJPDC analysis. The financial losses stem from the excess of county expenditures over revenue from the region.

Under more optimistic growth scenarios, the county could see a return from $5.3 to $15.6 million over the ten year period. The study also assumed that if there were no water/sewer, the growth pattern for Zion Crossroads in Fluvanna would be the same as occurred in 2000-2010.

The study was requested by the previous Board of Supervisors and will buttress the efforts to bring water and sewer to the region. Currently Aqua Virginia is holding discussions with the county about constructing the water and sewer lines, and according to one source, informal conversations also have been renewed with Louisa officials.

In other developments:

· Supervisors were informed that Louisa County is suspending all mutual emergency medical services (EMS) aid to Fluvanna. Louisa increasingly has had to respond to assistance requests from Fluvanna’s overwhelmed EMS and contends that it has not received sufficient support in return;

· An independent review of Fluvanna’s Fire/EMS systems will begin at the end of June;

· The audit of county financial records has been delayed because of lack of county personnel, but according to the county administrator, the deadlines will be met; and,

· Supervisors passed out $16,500 in bonuses to staff members who had to assume additional duties because of the firings of staff directors – the funds come from salary savings; Mr. Robert Popowicz was named to be the Director of Community Planning and Development – previously he was the county’s economic development coordinator.

Many residents refuse to give up the school budget fight. At the first public comment session, which lasted nearly an hour and a half, twenty-two residents argued for restored school funding, while five supported the Board’s decision.

The next supervisors’ meeting will be held on June 20th at which time the Board will consider sending a proposed county meal tax (4 percent) to a November referendum.

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William Des Rochers is the Fluvanna County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.

The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you.  To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credit: Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission

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