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RSA, BOS forbidden to discuss information

RSA, BOS forbidden to discuss information

A Greene County Circuit Court judge Monday sided with Greene County in a motion to quash subpoenas issued by Rapidan Service Authority (RSA) for documentation. 

Judge Claude Worrell Jr. said he granted the motion to quash insomuch as documents requested must be specific to the contract between Greene County Board of Supervisors and RSA regarding the reservoir project. Additionally, he ordered a protective order for both parties on classified items that may be received through the discovery that prohibits either side from commenting publicly on any information received until the court gives its permission.

RSA filed subpoenas that requested all documents related to Greene County and any interaction with the Greene County Board of Supervisors to WW Associates, the county’s engineer on the project for about 20 years; Davenport and Company, a financial advisor for Greene County for about 22 years; and Stantec, a financial consultant for Greene County.

Gregory D. Habeeb, an attorney with Gentry Locke Attorneys in Richmond, said the county has no issue with documents relating to RSA being part of discovery, but the subpoenas were too broad, resulting in a 61 gigabyte drive being returned from WW Associates.

Terry Lynn, attorney for RSA, said the documents were relevant to her defense of the case regarding how money had been spent by the county since the contract to create the facility project and reservoir between the parties was signed in 2005.

Lynn said since that time, the county has collected $12 million in hookup fees for water; $7 million in hookup fees for sewer; and $3 million in facility fees collected from customers.

“They want to charge RSA customers more for this project when no dirt has been moved,” Lynn said.

Judge Worrell asked Lynn whether RSA has the right to ask how money was spent by Greene County as the county would have sovereign immunity as a government, which is what RSA claims it has in response to one of the county’s lawsuits.

“If you want to know how Greene County spent the money, subpoena the administration,” Habeeb said.

RSA was created as a regional water and wastewater authority on June 17, 1969, by the counties of Greene, Orange and Madison. After the RSA Board of Members voted 4-2 July 16 to end monthly facility fee billing, Greene County requested the boards of supervisors of Madison and Orange counties to allow Greene to leave RSA. Both boards voted against the request.

The Greene County supervisors filed a six-count lawsuit on Sept. 14, requesting more than $25 million for alleged contract breaches, alleged violations of fiduciary duty and alleged non-compliance with its duties to Greene County.

On Sept. 17, the RSA Board of Members voted 4-2—with Greene County’s representatives voting no—to prohibit Greene County representatives from participating in any business at meetings, including last month’s discussion about upgrading RSA’s water treatment plant in Greene County with membrane technology.

Demurrers in this case are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the Greene County Circuit Court.

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Editor, Greene County Record

Terry Beigie is the Editor of the Greene County Record in Stanardsville. She can be reached at tbeigie@greene-news.com or (434) 985-2315.

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