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Matoaca Monday Message: EDA Application for the UMG Megasite

I spent a busy week at the polls, and it was refreshing to meet all the voters and hear their concerns. The number one concern by far is the explosion in building and the impact that has taken on roads and schools (plus the additional strain on police and fire). What was disappointing was the resignation expressed by many when they regurgitate the county talking points of “There's nothing we can do...the cases were all approved years ago...we will have to raise taxes...we can’t vote against zoning.” This is simply not true. There can be change if there is a will and if the Supervisors laser-focus on the priorities of the citizens.

I am confident there is waste in the county budget that can be identified and reallocated to schools. I would start with scrutinizing the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority and their spending. They meet in private, they don’t bid consultant services, and they are not required to demonstrate return on their investment. Whenever the CEDA requires funding for a project, they magically find the money in the budget--yet school and road construction lags the pace of building for lack of funds. I propose we prioritize schools and roads first and pause on speculative investments with no guarantee of a return.

A prime example is the Upper Magnolia Green (UMG) megasite project. The county has already spent over $20M on the project, and there is no end in sight. The UMG project does not even meet the size-criteria for a megasite. Not content to just waste local tax money, the CEDA with approval of the Board of Supervisors, continues to perpetuate the lie in their grant application from the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program. Virginia tax payers will be spending $25M dollars on a site that requires a $2 billion taxpayer investment to create a single 400 acre pad site. The entire project is a bad investment. I spoke at the last Board of Supervisors meeting about my concerns:

Chesterfield County needs to rearrange their priorities and get back in the business of providing the services the citizens require: prioritizing schools, roads, and public safety. The county is in a hole and does not have the time or money to spend on frivolous and speculative investments. Early voting has started, and November 7 will be here before we know it. Vote for candidates whose priorities match yours.

God bless America, the Commonwealth of Virgina, Chesterfield county, and the good people of the Matoaca District.


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