To all the citizens in Greene County Virginia it is time to get off your couches and come out and let your so-called county representatives know that you are tired of having your tax dollars being wasted. This coming Tuesday, June 4th at 7 PM the EDA will be having a public presentation on their purposed investment of almost ONE MILLION DOLLARS for a new Greene County Visitor Center. This meeting will be held in Stanardsville at the county administration building. However, if you are okay with the SIX MILLION DOLLAR short fall in the current county budget and have no problem adding another million dollars to that deficit then by all means stay home. But if you don’t want your taxes going up again next year then come out and let the EDA know that this purchase will not fly.
One must ask themselves how is spending this amount of money beneficial to the citizens of Greene. The county is struggling to put on a July 4th event and can’t afford to have a county fair, two things that are definite tourist attractions, yet they are considering a purchase of this size that will not only cost big dollars up front but will be a drain on our resources for years to come. Another question we must ask ourselves is who does benefit from this purchase if not the local citizens? For more background on this see my previous posts here and here.
Does the county need to do something to encourage tourists and businesses to come to Greene, of course it does? There are so many ways that our tax dollars can be spent more wisely then by taking a prime piece of real estate off the market to put a county building on it. This prime lot on Rt. 29 in front of Lowe’s would be a perfect spot for a restaurant, with its great visibility and road frontage it would even be a great spot for a Chic-Fil-A, a much better prospect than a visitor center. So if you don’t want your taxes to increase more then they already have and like the idea of a new place to eat in the county like a Chick-Fil-A, then show up Tuesday night and let your voice be heard. After all who wouldn’t want a Chic-Fil-A in Greene?
It has come to my attention that a peculiar, or should I say
a not so peculiar transaction is about to take place in my home county of
Greene in the state of Virginia. Something that you would expect from federal
agencies and not at the local level. Although I guess I am kind of naive and
expect our local politicians who happen to be our friends and neighbors to
behave honorably. This is not the case however when it comes to some
individuals in our Economic Development Agency, the Board of Tourism and our
Board of Supervisors.
It seems that there is a valuable piece of property on the
Rt. 29 corridor in Ruckersville. This property which has road frontage on a
highway that has upwards of 50,000 vehicles passing it daily is in the process
of being purchased for use by the Economic Development Agency. The projected
purchase price for this prime real-estate is $800,000 for land and a dilapidated
building which by the looks of it should be bulldozed. However, the plan is to
renovate the building using a budgeted $100,000. The proposed uses for this
building are an office for the director Alan Yost, rental of a portion to the
Chamber of Commerce and use any leftover space for temporary offices that start
up businesses would have access to.
Let’s ignore the fact that there is no way this building can
be renovated for the budgeted amount and look at how they plan on paying off a
$900,000 loan. Rumor has it that they expect the Chamber to pay $1,200 a month
in rent which they have not agreed to, and the rest of the money would come
from short term rental of office space for businesses locating to Greene County.
Last I heard there are not a lot of businesses
knocking on the EDA’s door. Why should they expect that to change? What is
going to happen is that Mr. Yost will get himself a nice office and the EDA
will be struggling to pay off this loan.
As I mentioned above there were three agencies that had a hand in these shenanigans the other two are the Board of Tourism that happens to have a board member who owns this piece of property that has been empty for quite a while. Then there is the Board of Supervisors who seem to be turning a blind eye to this looming disaster. Of course, most of this is being done behind closed doors and as a result the county is going to end up being stuck with a million-dollar white elephant that the citizens of Greene County will end up footing the bill for.