10 November 2015
Fluvanna County Supervisor Mike Sheridan announced that he will recuse himself from the upcoming vote on the Fluvanna-Louisa water pipeline.
Reading from a statement at Wednesday’s (Nov. 4) meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Sheridan said that the proposed pipeline’s path across his land creates a conflict of interest that prevents him from voting.
“It’s pretty clear cut,” Sheridan told the Fluvanna Review. “If I stand to gain financially by a direct decision I make then I’m in a conflict of interest. They’re going to have to pay me for the easement across my land. I’m recusing myself from the vote because I do not want to risk breaking the law.”
At first it was unclear where exactly the pipeline would be located, Sheridan said. But when the path was set across his land, he spoke with County Attorney Fred Payne. “I was advised to step aside and let the others talk this one out,” he said.
Supervisors are expected to hold two votes on the pipeline after public hearings on Dec. 2.
The first vote, from which Sheridan did not recuse himself, is whether to grant a special use permit to the James River Water Authority (JRWA), a partnership between Fluvanna and Louisa Counties, so that it may construct a water supply system near Columbia. An intake station located on the Point of Fork would draw up to 12 million gallons per day of water from the James River and pipe it a little over a mile to Rt. 6. Fluvanna and Louisa would split the cost of construction, which is estimated to be between $8 million to $10 million.
The second vote, in which Sheridan will not participate, is whether to grant a special use permit to the Louisa County Water Authority (LCWA) that would allow it to run a pipeline through Fluvanna land. The LCWA pipeline would connect to the JRWA water system and run northeast to Louisa. Louisa would pay for its construction.