F.C. ‘Pleased’ With Fairfax Court Stay Of Its Water Ruling Pending Appeal

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields said in a statement this afternoon that he is “pleased the (Fairfax Circuit) court order has been stayed,” after Judge R. Terrence Ney entered a consent order that postpones the enforcement of the court’s Jan. 6 decree prohibiting Falls Church from taking an annual “return on investment” from its water fund.

The stay is pending the outcome of Falls Church’s appeal of the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court, and the Fairfax Water Authority has dropped its initial opposition to the stay.

The City of Falls Church’s statement issued today said, “In the Jan. 6 decree, the judge ruled that the City’s return on investment transfer is in violation of the City Charter and is an unconstitutional tax. However, the General Assembly has authorized cities throughout the Commonwealth to transfer utility fund proceeds to the general fund as a reasonable return on investment and compensation for the financial risk born by their tax payers.” The ruling of the Supreme Court is expected before April 6. Additional counts in the Fairfax Water/Falls Church lawsuit are scheduled to be heard in the Fairfax Circuit Court beginning Feb. 1.