U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady has issued an order to stay any enforcement of the Fairfax County water ordinance for a period of 90 days. Court hearings originally scheduled for June 15, 2012 have been canceled.
The stay was jointly requested by the City, Fairfax Water, and Fairfax County. The City intends to use the 90 day period to explore possible resolution of issues with Fairfax County, and will do so in a manner that serves the best interests of the City’s taxpayers and water customers.
“I am pleased that the County and Fairfax Water joined the City in requesting this stay,” said Mayor Nader Baroukh. “Given the importance and value of the City’s water service, these will not be easy discussions. The City will be strongly protective of the interests of its water customers, taxpayers, and utility employees.”
In March 2012, the City of Falls Church filed a lawsuit in Fairfax County to strike down the ordinance. In May 2012, Fairfax County Water Authority removed the cases to Federal Court. Several motions were scheduled to be heard on June 15 with respect to this litigation. The stay also applies to enforcement of the ordinance with respect to the water utilities owned by the City of Fairfax, Town of Vienna, and Town of Herndon.
For 80 years, the Falls Church Water Utility has provided safe, reliable, and cost effective water service in the City of Falls Church and Fairfax County. The City currently serves over 34,500 accounts with rates that are well below regional and state averages.