Floyd’s "let somebody else take the risk" town council is at it again, demanding unbelievably high letters of credit from each town business participating in the grants that help fund the downtown rehabilitation and trying, as usual, to avoid taking any real risk itself.
From behind closed doors, which is the way the government likes to conduct its business, comes word that the Town Council has decided to demand the letters of credit which, in effect, says they want business to bear most of the cost and the risk for the strategy.
This places such onerous requirements into the deal that only a fool would want to participate.
We’ve seen this crap before from the Town Council. I remember an early meeting on Floyd’s downtown revitalization project. Rob Shelor, council member and probable mayor to follow the resigning Skip Bishop, whined about the town having to invest $100,000 in a program that would bring $1 million to the community in grants and loan programs.
Todd Christianson, the state official charged with getting the grant through the system, told Shelor that if he didn’t want the money he lots of other communities standing in line to invest in their town’s future.
Shelor finally gave in but he continues to be a thorn in the side of any business that wants to bring tourists to Floyd.
Many business owners put their homes and future at risk to borrow the money to take a chance on Floyd’s iffy business environment but the town government wants to avoid risk and claim the credit.
Hopefully, those who want to see a farmer’s market in Floyd will proceed without the town’s involvement, leaving the town council where it belongs — out in the cold.
To say Town Government can be duplicitous is kind. It is exactly this kind of double dealing that has long plagued both the Town of Floyd and county government.
Details, of course, are sketchy because the Town Council uses one of the many loopholes in Virginia’s antiquated Open Meetings Act to conduct its business in executive session — in other words, secret.
In this election year, voters are calling for change on the national level. Last year, voters in Floyd County registered their anger at county government by sending two incumbent supervisors and the sitting Commonwealth’s Attorney to the showers.
Maybe it’s time to for the voters of the Town of Floyd to consider a similar house cleaning.