She questions authority’s actions
Published 10:30 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017
I keep writing. Taxpayers and citizens of Charlotte County, if you are concerned, you need to speak up.
The citizens of Charlotte County should thank C.R. “Bob” Timmons, the Prince Edward County representative to the Heartland Regional Authority, for trying to look out for the water of Charlotte County and the Town of Keysville.
He made a good speech that fell on deaf ears at the latest authority meeting.
Here’s the story. A company bought land in November 2015 in the park to put in a business that would bring about eight jobs here. That’s great. In meetings since then, Charlotte County Supervisor and Authority Chairman Gary Walker and Charlotte County Administrator R.B. Clark complained about how the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was holding up progress.
During supervisors’ meeting in January, Walker delivered the “good news” that DEQ had issued the permit. Ten days later I saw an agreement that Walker had asked the attorney to draft suggesting the authority would pay half of an $80,000 fee to DEQ.
I contacted DEQ and learned that indeed that was not correct.
Long story, but the bottom line was that the company locating in Heartland Park had elected to buy “credits” from a private company in lieu of correction of water problem. While this is allowable, it does nothing to solve the problem.
DEQ pointed out they would also require “a letter from Charlotte County or the Town of Keysville confirming there are no local water quality-based limitations to the use of offsite nutrient credits in accordance with 62.1-44.15:35 C of the Virginia Stormwater Management Act.”
Timmons spoke well, stating he recommended tabling this for a short time. He stated the authority needed to consider what it would cost to fix the problem with the pond.
He smartly pointed out the option on the table only solved this tenant’s problem and the authority would still be left with a problem. He expressed concern for Charlotte County’s water. Walker and Clark went into what I call “political mode.”
As I write this I realize in a 500-word column I can’t tell you all they said. I can’t debunk it all right here. Charlotte County was copied on all documentation from DEQ over these many months.
Why haven’t our leaders looked into this issue before now and been concerned about the same points raised by Timmons?
Once again, we, the citizens, were told everything was great while truth is more money was spent and water affected.
In my opinion, these are politicians in action. They are quick to heap praise on each other. Fact checking of statements often reveals problems. The same attorney represents the county and the authority. He has been paid over $8,000 by the authority alone since August.
He did a good job smoothing things over. I’m sure he will charge accordingly.
If you think these things on which I have written are without merit, OK. However, if you think we have problems in Charlotte County, you need to speak up and get involved.
Kay Pierantoni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org