For years, citizens of Prince Edward County have had to watch as the Board Of Supervisors and the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) have unwisely spent their money (in the form of taxes and fees and obligations) on one scheme after another.
Enter the failed project that the county has spent millions, and some amount in kind, to a developer who so far will not disclose his investors or any other money details of his project.
Granite Hills Inn and Conference Center is the project and Bob Fowler is the developer. He is the same person involved with the questionable and failing golf club next to where this new project will go. Twice Community Development Block Grants were turned down for this project. The county is going to a lot of trouble and work to prop up someone who is as yet, unproven. The land for the inn was sold to the developer at about one-fourth or less its true commercial worth.
Enter Route 628, the present road that is running past the school facilities just south of US 460 and Farmville. The county insists that this road needs to be realigned and run through property that is private. Eminent Domain is being used to accomplish this. Never mind that the inn, etc is dead in the water right now, with no hope of financing. The excuse? The moved road will provide more safety for the school traffic. The real reason? The Inn and conference Center would be located on that new road.
One last thing; the county will pay an average of $45,000 for the road land in Eminent Domain proceedings. $4,000 to $45,000. Do you see something wrong here?
Below is a letter from Jack Houghton, an activist and citizen in Farmville who has fought this and other projects for years. It provides a good synopsis of what has gone on. This is what happens when there is no accountability from our local governments and people do not participate. Thanks, Jack.
Thank you also to The Farmville Herald, who also published this letter after I received a copy of it.