09 October 2013
A closed session, followed by a surprise announcement, began Wednesday’s (Oct. 2) Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors meeting.
When the open session reconvened, County Administrator Steve Nichols stated, “I want to announce, based on the closed session, and…let those present know that this morning representatives of the county of Fluvanna and the Aqua Virginia Corporation met to discuss the PPEA proposal [to provide water to Zion Crossroads]. Representatives of both organizations have mutually agreed to suspend negotiations pending a formal resolution of the PPEA proposal. More to follow in the next two days.”
Nonetheless, during public comments, three people spoke out against the deal with Aqua, causing Chairman Shaun Kenney to remind those present that the Aqua deal is currently “off the table.” But after the meeting, when asked for specifics, some members of the Board refused to speak with such certainty.
When asked to comment, Supervisors Don Weaver and Mozell Booker explained that because the Board members had discussed this issue in closed session, they were not at liberty to comment further. And when pressed to confirm or deny that the deal was completely dead, they did not. “It’s dead as far as I’m concerned,” Weaver joked, but would not speak to whether others on the Board felt the same way. Rather, he said, “Let’s see if Aqua comes out with a statement in the next few days.”
Another water deal with Louisa County is proceeding much more smoothly. In its last meeting on Sept. 18, the Board approved the interjurisdictional agreement regarding the James River water pipeline, but included with its approval an amendment. This amendment asked Louisa County to pay both for a T-junction on its pipeline at a to-be-determined place in Fluvanna County and for the requisite increased pipe capacity to that point. Tuesday night (Oct. 1), the Louisa County Board of Supervisors agreed to the amendment. Now voting on the agreement in its entirety, the Board passed the pipeline plan 3-1 (Weaver dissenting, Ullenbruch absent).
In other matters:
• Brad Sheffield presented JAUNT’s annual report. Due to service cuts, Fluvanna’s use of JAUNT has declined in FY13. Despite a 50 percent cut in service, however, the ridership decrease was only 33 percent. Fluvanna contributes three percent of JAUNT’s budget, while fares make up nine percent. New money from Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation project will make it possible for JAUNT to increase service this winter, possibly including, in response to Kenney’s request, service to Columbia.
• Aaron Spitzer, recreation program coordinator, gave the Board an update on the U12 football team it helped to establish earlier in the year. The team is up and running with 24 players and four full-time coaches. “They are getting better every day, even if it doesn’t look like it,” he joked. Those involved in the league are actively trying to raise money to keep the program going.
• The Board discussed a potential ordinance regarding coyotes, a nuisance species, considering whether it will offer a bounty on hunted coyotes as incentive to hunters. According to Kenney, Fluvanna’s coyote problem is getting progressively worse, especially for people who leave their pets or livestock outside. “It is getting to the point where we need to do something responsive and proactive,” he said.