By. Brent Wilson Field Officer
Greene County received a request to be able to transfer an EDU that has already been purchased to another piece of property. This request lead to an agenda item at their August 25th meeting to discuss the EDU Purchase Policy for water and sewer systems.
Chairman David Cox, Monroe District, asked County Administrator John Barkley to outline the evolution of the current policy.
Per Barkley, last year Supervisor Davis Lamb, Ruckersville District, and a small group surveyed other localities fee structures vs. Greene County’s current fee of $10,000 per EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit). The current policy prohibits EDU’s to be transferred from one property to another. Policies can be changed – it is up to the Board to determine if it is fair or not and is it fair to treat large and small accounts the same?
2008 was the last increase up to $10,000 per EDU – one for water and another for sewer. The original cost in 2005 was $4,200 per 200 gallons/minute and it has increased 3 more times up to the $10,000 level in 2008.
Lamb said that he has received a request to transfer an already purchased EDUs to another property.
He mentioned one of the committee members last year stated that allowing EDUs to be transferred would allow more flexibility. Economic times are hard and he supports allowing EDUs to be transferred to help stimulate growth in the county.
Supervisor Eddie Deane, At Large, remembered that the Board had allowed the transfer of three EDUs in the past. Supervisor Jim Frydl, Midway District, explained that RSA had allowed the transfer in error and the Board of Supervisors agreed to honor the transfer – one time only. Deane stated that he felt allowing the transfer of EDUs would be very business friendly for Greene County. He further stated that we are in a recession and struggling to attract business. Allowing the transfer would be beneficial to attracting businesses to Greene County.
Lamb indicated that developers pay $20,000 per home for EDU’s in Greene County. Supervisor Bill Martin, Stanardsville District asked Lamb if he is asking for a one time exception or a change to the policy? Lamb indicated that he proposes changing the policy due to the slowdown in the economy. Martin also brought up the fact that the county has sold far fewer EDUs than hoped and Greene is incurring a deficit each year of nearly $2 million due to this.
Cox proposed a workshop to review the current policy. Frydl clarified that the workshop would review the total financial impact of changing the EDU policy. Deane agreed that it is time to revisit the EDU policy to see what makes sense.
After the meeting Alan Yost, Director of the EDA, was asked his opinion and he felt that the EDU policy needs to be looked at to see what supports business.
Brent Wilson is the Greene 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