Fluvanna Supervisors to Decide on Water Options

By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer

water-supply_thumb.jpgPALMYRA — The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors will finally make at least one vote and possibly a decision on both water plans.  According to many observers, these decisions will have significant impact on future economic development.

The first plan is the public-private partnership agreement with Aqua America. The plan would bring water from the Aqua facility near Lake Monticello to Zion Crossroads.

aqua-america-logo_thumb.jpgAqua would own the pipes but Fluvanna would control the service district. This means Fluvanna would collect the connection fees, set the rates and own potential new customers.

Aqua would sell water at a bulk rate to Fluvanna and maintain the infrastructure. The agreement would be for up to 500,000 gallons a day.

The Aqua agreement would also have sewer pipes but Fluvanna’s previously agreed upon water and sewer agreement with the Department of Corrections would treat the sewer.

The plan requires Fluvanna to pay just over $900,000 a year in payments plus 10 percent escrow. The escrow payments are then added to the end of the agreement so the last few years the county would not pay anything because of those escrow payments.

The agreement also requires one year’s worth of payment as a down payment within 45 days of signing the agreements. That also is added to the end of the agreement.

 The bulk water cost is set throughout the length agreement but raises only with the consumer price index.

The Aqua water line does not go onto Louisa County land. It stops at the Fluvanna line but Fluvanna could later add Louisa as a customer, if desired. There would be an elevated water storage tank in the Zion Crossroads area.

The second water plan is the James River Water Authority (JRWA) . The JRWA is a partnership with Louisa to take water from the James River. Fluvanna and Louisa split all JRWA costs and only JRWA costs.

The plan with the JRWA is to take water from the James just upriver from the town of Columbia. The JRWA would have an intake facility then send the water four miles inland to a junction point near Route 6.

Estimated costs for the JRWA are $3.35 million, split between the counties. The JRWA’s withdrawal permit is 3 million gallons a day.

Each county pays to take the water from the Route 6 junction to where ever each county wants. Louisa wants to build a Louisa owned pipeline to the Ferncliff area. That would follow the gas line, parallel to the Fluvanna-Goochland county line. It could require special use permits or a change of Fluvanna code.

Fluvanna has no plans to use any water from the JRWA and would allow its allocated portion to go unused. In the future, Fluvanna could take water from the junction or work an agreement with Louisa to take from another junction. That type of agreement would require another payment, more than likely.

The only cost to Fluvanna is the initial JRWA intake facility and four mile pipeline to junction point.

The Aqua agreement will have a public hearing at the Sept. 18 meeting, per state law on PPEAs. There is a month waiting period to sign the agreement so a vote in favor would be delayed. The supervisors could vote to reject the proposal Wednesday.

The JRWA is an action item for the Sept. 18 meeting.

The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors will meet in the Fluvanna County High School Auditorium, starting at 7 p.m.

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The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.

bryan-rothamel

Bryan Rothamel covers Fluvanna County for the Free Enterprise Forum.  He is the founder of the Fluco Blog.  Additional writings can be found at www.Flucoblog.com

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