Letter to the Editor Sandy River Water Project
The regular Supervisors Meeting of Prince Edward County was held on July 12, 2011. There was a motion made at this meeting to end the contract with Crowder Construction Company to build the Sandy River Reservoir Water Treatment Plant and Distribution System for approximately $25,000,000.00. In addition the motion stated to end the interim agreement with Crowder Construction Company for the engineering and design of the project at a cost of approximately $2,000,000.00 after insuring that all the deliverables which included an approved Preliminary Engineering Report and documentation of all work including drawings and multiple permits that were under contract in the interim agreement.
The vote to end this project was defeated by a vote of 6 to 2 with Fore, Gantt, Jones, Wiley, Simpson and McCay voting to keep this project alive and Campbell and Wilck voting to kill the project.
It is ludicrous to keep this project alive when the project cannot go forward. The reasons the project cannot go forward are as follows:
- The size of the water plant, the scope of work, and the cost for this project was submitted using Crewe and Burkeville as customers . There were letters from Crewe and Burkeville stating that they would not participate in this project at this time so the information that was submitted at the public meetings and the public hearing was fraudulent.
A public hearing was held using information provided by county staff stating that Crewe and Burkeville were participating in this project when in fact the county staff had in their possession letters stating that neither of these municipalities would not be participating in the project.
- The financial justification for this project was prepared using revenues from Crewe and Burkeville and also contributions to the project from these municipalities amounting to millions of dollars. Since there was documentation from Crewe and Burkeville in the possession of county staff that Crewe and Burkeville would not be participating, to use this financial justification to implement this project was fraudulent.
Draper Aden Associates is the engineering company that is in the process of preparing the engineering documents for the Sandy River Project as a subcontractor to Crowder Construction Company. In other words Draper Aden Associates is working for and is getting paid by Crowder Construction Company. During the same time period that Draper Aden Associates was getting paid by Prince Edward County to prepare a “Regional Water Supply and Drought Management Plan” that is a requirement of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is turned in to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) upon completion. A very important question is:
How can Draper Aden associates honestly represent Prince Edward County when at the same time the results of their work on the Regional Water Supply and Drought Management Plan will have an effect on what they are getting paid to do by Crowder Construction Company? This is a direct conflict of interest.
Draper Aden Associates personnel have been in attendance in meetings with the Town of Farmville and Prince Edward County in their effort to negotiate the terms and conditions of forming a regional authority for water and sewer service to the Town of Farmville. Another very important question is:
How can Draper Aden Associates honestly represent Prince Edward County in negotiations for a regional water authority when at the same time Draper Aden Associates is representing Crowder Construction Company trying to convince Prince Edward County to spend approximately 25 million dollars for construction of a water treatment plant and delivery system?
These are direct conflicts of interest that the Board of Supervisors refuses to address although many citizens have questioned whether Draper Aden Associates should be a supplier of engineering services to the county as long as they are representing Crowder Construction Company on the Sandy River Water Project.
These are also examples of why we need to change the makeup of the board. Supervisors McKay, Jones, Simpson, and Wiley will have to face reelection in November 2011. This is the eighth time that they all have voted in support of this boondoggle budget busting Sandy River Water project, yet they claim they have not made up their mind yet on the project.
Supervisors McKay, Jones, Simpson, and Wiley have voted to spend approximately 5 million dollars for the Sandy River Water Project and we have practically nothing to show for it.
Supervisors McKay, Jones, Simpson, and Wiley also voted in 2010 to raise real estate taxes by 5 percent and to raise the vehicle decal fee by 40%
Supervisors McKay, Jones, Simpson, and Wiley are not good stewards of Prince Edward County citizen’s hard earned money that is paid in taxes to the county and they need to be replaced in the November 2011 election.