In last week’s Greene County Record, I happened across the real estate page where I saw that a piece of prime property on U.S. 29 in Ruckersville was for sale. This property on south bound 29 housed a former BP gas station and convenience store. This fully functional gas station and store along with 1.75+ acres of land are for sale for $698,500. The question I must ask myself is why the Greene County Board of Supervisors decided to pay more than a million dollars for a dilapidated building and property to be used for an outdated concept such as a brick and mortar visitor center. A building which will need tens of thousands, if not a hundred thousand dollars for renovations before it will be usable.
The answer to this question to me is obvious. It is either one of two things: corruption or cronyism. Why pay that much for a piece of property that coincidentally is owned by someone who is a member of the tourism board? We are looking at paying close to two million dollars over 40 years for an outdated brick and mortar visitor center when local companies like Plow and Hearth are closing retail outlets to concentrate on their web presence. The Board of Supervisors are stuck in the 20th century while the rest of the world has moved into the 21st.
Come this November and in future elections, the citizens of Greene need to remember who voted for this new visitor’s center—at-large supervisor Dale Herring, Ruckersville supervisor Michelle Flynn and Stanardsville supervisor Bill Martin. At-large candidate James Murphy will show the fiscal responsibility that this county needs. In two more years, the community must not have short-term memory when the Stanardsville district seat is up for re-election.