Outmaneuver the competition

Isn’t that exactly what Marvin Moss and his cohorts said regarding the school – when they were explicitly warned that we were being overcharged for the large debt we were about to undertake? We’re now suing the financial adviser for the bad advice we were given!

An incremental approach for supplying water to Zion Crossroads, supported by fiscally responsible supervisors, is attractive. Utilize available excess capacity at the Department of Corrections women’s prison (150,000 gallons per day). Build a pipeline from the prison to Zion Crossroads. This won’t add to the cost of a higher capacity system that will come later, because it will be part of any future system expansion. This low cost first step can be built for about $3.5million. Let’s see if the pipeline actually brings economic development, and only then consider expansion of the system to accommodate more customers.

The Aqua Virginia approach would risk more than $20 million of taxpayer money, while Aqua risks nothing. Success would depend on Fluvanna County selling most of the water to Louisa County! Even more extreme, a ‘resurrected’ James River Water Authority approach, a terribly misguided notion, would likely cost Fluvanna more than $30 million!

Louisa County is our competitor for economic development. Why would we do anything to facilitate more growth on their side of the county line? If Fluvanna can offer water at Zion, and Louisa cannot, guess where the economic development will take place?

If Fluvanna and Louisa share access to the water Fluvanna supplies, we’ll end up in bidding wars to entice businesses to locate on the Fluvanna side of the line. The resulting tax and infrastructure incentives will give away much of the revenue benefit of economic development. We have the means to outmaneuver our competition. Let’s take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Take an incremental approach. It is the taxpayer’s money that will pay for the pipeline; please spend as little as possible until we get a taste of success. Keep the water in Fluvanna – don’t facilitate more growth in Louisa.

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