Water vote

“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.

Sheridan’s decision to abstain from the vote has troubled the waters among pipeline supporters.  Three votes for the pipeline from Sheridan and Supervisors Mozell Booker and Tony O’Brien, who have publicly backed the project, would have overcome possible votes against the pipeline from Supervisors Don Weaver and Bob Ullenbruch.  An evenly split vote, however, means the special use permits fail – and without the permits, the pipeline can’t proceed.

The county will hold an information session on Tuesday (Nov. 10) at 6:30 p.m. in the Morris room of the county administration building to answer questions and share information about the water project.

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