To the editor:
I see in last week’s Central Virginian that Louisa County Economic Development Director Andy Wade is once again proposing that we spend $2.5 million to plan and buy easements for bringing utilities to the proposed Shannon Hill Business Park. He’s not only asking to put his request in the budget, he’s also asking to fast-forward the process so that the money would be available immediately rather than after July 1.
He is asking to spend this money for a project that has been dogged with problems. Parts of the due diligence report, on which further site study must be based and costs calculated, are not completed. We know this site has rugged terrain which will be a problem. These problems have not been solved and we have no information as to the cost.
Is this another government project where the taxpayers are seen as a bottomless pit whose money can be used so carelessly, without knowing the cost and feasibility of the project?
Just recently we saw what happened by pushing ahead with a plan in which we did not have all our ducks lined up. We put money into a pumping station on the James River at a location that was known to be the historic capital of the Monacans. We were warned that this would be a problem, but on the advice of our subcontractor, Timmons Group, we ignored that and plowed ahead until we were brought to heel by the Department of Historic Resources and the threat of overwhelming lawsuits. We lost the money we had put into the location.
Timmons, the contractor who advised them to ignore the claims of the Monacans and hired unqualified people to try to get around laws regarding artifacts on historic sites, is the same contractor doing the engineering on this project. This should raise some eyebrows.
We need to slow down. We do not know whether this park will be built. In every public hearing, the room has been filled with Louisa citizens saying, “We don’t want this kind of development in Louisa.” It’s way too soon to commit more money to this project.