Fluvanna County's largest community is urging supervisors to hold off on a pair of decisions that could turn a trickle of economic development into a pouring tap of growth. It all hinges on two proposed water projects.
The Lake Monticello Owners Association sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors just days before Wednesday's water debates asking the board to delay any deals to pump a public water supply through the county.
"We had too many questions we couldn't answer," said Valeria Palamountain, president of the LMOA.
Palamountain's questions have her calling on Fluvanna supervisors to put a plug on any decision to supply water to parts of the county.
"It's very expensive, and it will take money out of our county budget as well as future tax dollars as well as our water rates," Palamountain said.
But the board is poised to make a pair of deals to pump water to homes and businesses.
"We need to bring something more to the table than just a thimble full of water. We need gallons of it," said Shaun Kenney, chairman of the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors.
The first proposal would allow Aqua Virginia to build a pipeline from the Lake Monticello facility to Zion Crossroads. It would bring water to an area near the intersection of routes 250 and 15 at a cost to the county of about $912,000 a year.
Kenney says it's Fluvanna's pipeline to economic development.
"If we're ever going to have any chance of properly funding schools, deputies, and alleviating the tax burden on residential homeowners, Aqua Virginia is the way to go," Kenney said.
Supervisors are also considering a deal to build a pipeline from the James River. Louisa and Fluvanna would split the $3.3 million cost of the portion the two counties could share for water in the future.
"We can go ahead and actually start building a water infrastructure backbone here in Fluvanna to help spur economic development," Kenney said.
Palamountain says Lake Monticello property owners don't feel confident the county's tapped into all its options.
"Yes, we're concerned about our neighbors in Louisa and surrounding counties. But it's our tax dollars in Fluvanna we're concerned about," Palamountain said.
Kenney said, "There's literally millions of gallons of water at stake and quite frankly the future of Fluvanna County."
The public hearing on the Aqua Virginia deal starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fluvanna County High School. A final vote is likely at least a month away.
Supervisors are expected to vote on the James River pipeline project Wednesday.