WATER WAR:
Fairfax Requests Study of City’s Water Rates

April 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By GEORGE BROMLEY
Falls Church Times Staff

April 14, 2010

In July 2008 Fairfax Supervisors Linda Smyth (D-Providence) and Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) asked the County’s Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) to investigate water rates charged by Falls Church City and the Town of Vienna, both of which operate water systems that serve residents of Fairfax County.  During the Board of Supervisors meeting last week, Ms. Smyth advised that the Commission soon will report its findings to the Board.

The Board had directed the CPC to report its findings and possible recommendations regarding why certain County residents are paying different water rates from the various water systems that furnish water service to the County.  Supervisor Smyth noted that much had occurred since the Board first gave that direction to the CPC, including litigation between Falls Church City and Fairfax Water, during which the City sued the Board in an attempt to limit its power to accept proffers relating to the provision of water service within the County.  The Board was dismissed from the case when the Fairfax Circuit Court ruled that the Board alone has the power to determine which entities will provide water service within the County’s borders.

Supervisor Smyth added that on January 6, 2010, the Court ruled that Falls Church has been violating the Virginia Constitution and its own charter by charging water rates designed to generate profits to transfer to the City’s general fund.  The Court found that Falls Church set its current water rate, $3.03 per 1,000 gallons, in 2005 to generate millions of dollars a year in profits, and that the City’s water charges amounted to an unconstitutional, extraterritorial tax on County residents.

Ms. Smyth advised the Board that Falls Church has no plans to reduce its rates in its FY 2011 budget and is considering “modest” future increases (per Page 25 of the March 11  Falls Church Financial Update, on the City’s website).  Supervisor Smyth, jointly with Supervisor Hudgins, then moved that the Board direct the CPC to report its findings as to what Falls Church is doing to comply with the Court’s Order of January 6 so as to give relief from this unconstitutional tax to the 92 percent of its customers who reside in the County.

Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) and Supervisor Hudgins jointly seconded the motion.  Ms. Gross and Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) asked to jointly co-sponsor the measure.  After brief discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

The Board’s discussion of the matter begins at 2:36:01 of the April 6 video.

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Little City’s Greg Corbino Stars in ‘Dirt Cheap Money Cabaret’

April 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By GINA CACECI
Falls Church Times Staff

April 14, 2010

Many Falls Church residents remember Greg Corbino in numerous productions and performances when he was a student not so long ago at George Mason High School. The “hometown boy” is pursuing his dream as a member of the renowned Bread & Circus Puppet Theater and he will be performing at ArtSpace Falls Church on Monday, April 19.

Bread & Circus Puppet Theater, starring Greg Corbino, will perform at ArtSpace April 19

“THE DIRT CHEAP  MONEY CABARET” is the latest edition of Bread & Circus Puppet Theater’s cabaret series and Falls Church’s own Greg Corbino has a starring role.  The show is not for children and features the Jolly Battle between Mountaintop Removal Protesters and Mountaintop Machinery, an ancient take on Bananas, Singing Turkeys, a President and a Chair, Theater Blue, Civil Society Decommissioning Songs and much more, all interspersed with commentary from Karl Marx. The Even Cheaper Brass Ensemble will provide lively sounds to celebrate spring.

One performance only on Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.  Presented by Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 S. Maple Avenue. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by calling  571-239-5288 or visiting www.creativecauldron.org
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