The word “development” can mean different things to different people. Some people see it as a way toward progress; others see it as uncertain changes to the environment, lifestyle and needs of the people.
There is a sewer treatment plant at Little Washington that sends treated wastewater from the town into the Rush River. My understanding is that there is still an outstanding loan which was taken for its construction a number of years ago, that the amount of debt is around $3.5 million and that it costs about $200,000 a year to keep up with the interest payments.
Instead of a “beautification project,” which reportedly would cost the Inn at Little Washington $180,000 to $200,000, I think it would make more sense to put that money toward bringing the debt from the treatment plant loan down.
Most people who live here are connected to the land in one way or another. Landowners, farmers, horse people, hikers, fishermen, nature lovers, people who love the forests, mountains and clean air. Restaurant, bed and breakfast and gallery owners depend on tourists who come here to appreciate our special place.
Rappahannock County and many other surrounding counties are favored with very good farming conditions. There is still enough time to save farms in our region from being consumed by the sprawl that has turned the farms of Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and parts of Fauquier into asphalt parking lots for shopping centers, industrial parks, housing developments, etc.
The Rappahannock News, thanks to its editor Roger Piantadosi, has provided a forum to get people together and talk about whatever they have on their minds. It is in the form of a chat over coffee on the fourth Friday of the month at 9 a.m., usually at the Country Cafe in Washington. Those of us who are citizens are needed to attend such events, and to attend town and county planning sessions and hearings.
If you don’t participate, your voice won’t be heard and it might be you who could help the rest of us find solutions to the problems that exist here in the county.
Rappahannock is a beautiful and unique, special place. Let’s work together to keep it that way.