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Fluvanna County courted business developers at the library Wednesday (Feb. 8) by supplying breakfast and information on water and other projects.

About 30 men and women heard how Fluvanna is pro-business. 

Jason Smith, the county’s economic development director, unveiled a new logo and brochure he’ll use to sell the benefits of choosing Fluvanna.

Smith said the county is offering free public listings on its website for those who want to sell property.

“We’re on the way to a new, more user-friendly county website and want to make you aware of the resources,” Smith said. “If you need help in the process [of creating a listing] we will gladly provide that help.” County Administrator Steve Nichols said that in the fiscal year 2018 budget he presented to the Board of Supervisors, he asked for the business personal property tax rate to be reduced to $1.89 per $100 valuation. Currently it is $4.35.

Nichols reminded the group that Fluvanna has no meal or lodging tax, nor do businesses have to pay a business professional occupational license (BPOL) tax.

Getting a special use permit used to take 12 weeks, Nichols said. The process has now been streamlined to seven weeks.

“Fluvanna is an easy place to do business,” Nichols said. “We are creating a great business environment.”

A critical piece to attracting businesses to the Zion Crossroads area is providing the essential services of water and sewer.

Construction on the first water and sewer project is due to start this summer.

That project will bring water from the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women on Route 250 up to Starlight Business Park and Route 15. Smith said he anticipates project completion at the end of 2018.

A longer-term project bringing water from the James River to the area was green-lighted last year.

Steve Houchens, who represents Management Services Corporation, attended the breakfast.

“A lot of our clients can’t find the light industrial property in Charlottesville and are looking to bump out,” Houchens said. “We have a lot of quality tenants who sign longer leases and have better pre-qualifications. Things are looking up.”

Corvin Flynn owns Akarion Realty. He said the water project from the prison sounded like a positive step.

“We’ve needed to do small steps in the right direction,” he said. “The more business and industry that comes in will impact everyone more positively. I wish we would have done this 10 or 15 years ago. But hindsight is 20-20.”