F.C., Fairfax Agree to Voluntary Mediation of Water Dispute

The City of Falls Church released a statement this afternoon reporting that the City, Fairfax County and the Fairfax Water Authority has mutually agreed to a voluntary mediation of their long-standing disputes over the operation of the Falls Church Water System that will occur Nov. 8.

Not mandated by the court, but mutually agreed upon by all parties, the mediation was set by Magistrate Judge Carroll Buchanan. The U.S. District Court case disputing Fairfax County’s water ordinance passed by the Fairfax Board of Supervisors last December has been continued to Dec. 6 to allow for mediation to potentially resolve the conflict. This also comes after talks between the three parties on the potential sale of the Falls Church system were broken off in August.

“This is a good faith effort by the City to continue our long history of regional cooperation,” said Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder. “The City will enter mediation in the best interests of its water customers, taxpayers and utility employees.”

“Our goal is to find a mutually acceptable resolution that recognizes the City’s investments in its Water Utility assets that have provided safe, dependable drinking water for more than 80 years,” said F.C. Councilman Ira Kaylin, who also serves on the City Public Utility Commission.