Fluvanna Economic Development’s Bond to School Sparks Concerns

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Social media is lighting up with reports that Fluvanna County's economic development administration is supporting a bond for a private, religious school in Richmond. 

While that's true, a lot of the concerns are misguided. Taxpayers in Fluvanna County are concerned about the idea of the county supporting a school with a religious affiliation in another city. 

Fluvanna County government is clearing the air and putting taxpayers' minds at ease

A notice in the Fluvanna Review from Fluvanna County Economic Development Authority (EDA) has taxpayers asking questions through Facebook and emails to county administrators. 

They're wondering why the EDA would help the Veritas School, a Christian school in Richmond, get a bond that would allow the school to leave its current campus and purchase land and buildings for a new campus in another part of the city. 

Fluvanna County administrator Steve Nichols wants to put concerns to rest. 

"This is not a Fluvanna County government-sponsored issue; it is through the Economic Development Authority and does not affect taxpayers in Fluvanna County. It's not our bond," Nichols said. 

The EDA is separate from the Board of Supervisors, and the organization will not use county dollars to support the school.

"It's not a money transaction; it's really a financial vehicle for the school - for that school in Richmond - to go get financing at a good rate, that serves their purposes," Nichols said. 

Nichols says this is common practice - recently the Fluvanna County EDA supported a bond for the Mountaintop Montessori School in Albemarle County. He says the fees the EDA collects from this process can benefit Fluvanna County. 

"If the EDA strengthens their financial position, they can then provide additional resources to businesses in Fluvanna County, or businesses who want to locate there," Nichols said. 

The Veritas School's board chair says that Fluvanna County is one of several jurisdictions the board approached to fund the new school. 

The public hearing on this bond is set for May 8. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Fluvanna County Administration Building.