By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
On November 1st, 2017, Fluvanna County put the Zion Crossroads water and sewer project out to bid.
Decades of discussion have culminated in the supervisors advertising for bid the $11.9 million project.
The request for bid will be done in three parts. The pipes, the mechanical and the water tower are all in separate requests in hops of getting better bids by companies that would otherwise have to subcontract.
After the supervisors completed a series of motions, the room applauded as the long chapter of Fluvanna politics is nearing a close. The project is expected to take 18 months to construct.
Economic Development? Supervisors also initiated a rezoning process for an undisclosed business trying to relocate in the Zion Crossroads area. The project would be an investment of $8 to $10 million and bring about 40 jobs to the county. The business would be disclosed once the public hearings occur.
The property is currently zoned agricultural and is seeking an industrial zoning. The county is also working with the business to get a hookup to the aforementioned water project once water is flowing.
In other water news, after a closed meeting, the supervisors pledged $5,000 to Caroline County for proposed legal advice on fighting Aqua America’s proposed rate increases. Lake Monticello is served by Aqua. Caroline County has several subdivisions also served by Aqua, estimated at 30 percent of its population.
Caroline reached out to other home owners associations and locality governments for assistance in teaming together to fight against Aqua’s request. Caroline estimated the cost of legal advice and State Corporation Commission expert help at over $75,000.
Other presentations during the November 1st meeting included one from an official from Fluvanna Girls Softball League (FGSL). FGSL wanted the county to loan $25,000 to the private organization to field improvements at the Carysbrook field. Work included leveling the infield and outfield as well as replacing the backstop and adding an outfield fence.
The proposed loan was $25,000 paid over five years with 2 percent interest. Unfortunately, supervisors were briefed by the county attorney they have no legal authority to loan money to FGSL, a private organization. Because Carysbrook is county property, the county could construct the requested work and FGSL can voluntarily contribute to the county’s coffers.
Chris Fairchild, FGSL official, said even if the supervisors said they didn’t want to be paid back, FGSL wants to pay for the improvements. Supervisors and the parks and recreation department will work with FGSL to get work scheduled as previously planned.
Over the course of the last 15 years, FGSL has invested $168,000 in field improvements including construction of dugouts and concession stand.
Supervisors were briefed on preliminary budget projections of the Fluvanna County Public Schools system. Chuck Winkler, superintendent, is projecting a request of $2.2 million over last year’s budget.
That estimate included standards of quality changes that are partially funded by the state. He included the entire figure but noted if the state implemented, it would have a huge state budget implication. He said the likelihood of being passed was slim, but included it as a precaution.
Also in Winkler’s increase were pay raises and increase in health care costs. He also had additional money for technology improvements. He noted that if technology was funded again by Capital Improvement funds, it lowers the county’s per pupil spending.
The supervisors will next meet on November 15 at 7 p.m.
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