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Those opposed to King George County giving land for proposed HELP Center continue to fight board's decision
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"I don't pay that much attention to local politics, but I'm gonna start," Palivoda said, adding that no one he talked with knew anything about the project. "Even the people who normally support this kind of stuff don't support it."
A CHANGE OF MIND
Another vocal opponent has been Ruth Herrink, co-owner of the King George Journal. At one point, Project FAITH considered buying more than seven acres owned by Herrink and others.
Project FAITH rescinded its offer on the Journal property when it started discussing getting land from the county, said Wardlaw.
Currently, the agencies that would be housed in the HELP Center, such as the Department of Social Services, the Health Department and Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, rent space from private landlords.
County officials have said for several years that most of these agencies need bigger and better space.
King George even listed the need for a "Health and Human Resources Building" in its current capital improvement plan. It budgeted $10 million for the building.
But if Project FAITH builds the HELP Center, the county won't have to build its own facility, Supervisor John LoBuglio has said to various groups. That's why he said he supported the donation of land, so the county wouldn't have to incur the cost of construction.
Palivoda and others, including his father, Stan, resident Fred Davies and publisher Herrink, pressed LoBuglio to vote against giving land for the center. Some members of the same group also persuaded him to change his mind from supporting a 4-cent raise in the real-estate tax rate to no increase at all.
The group invited LoBuglio and other residents to an April 30 meeting on Stan Palivoda's boat in Dahlgren. LoBuglio had to leave early--to get to a budget work session--but assured the group he would delay the HELP Center vote.
The next night, he changed his mind and voted for it.
"As much as LoBuglio flip-flops around, I am going to lobby him" to change his position again, Shawn Palivoda said. He believes any of the three supervisors who voted for the center--LoBuglio, Cedell Brooks Jr. or Ruby Brabo--could bring up the matter again.
County Administrator Quesenberry said he didn't know if that could happen. He said it would be up to the board, based on advice from the county attorney.
Supervisor LoBuglio said Thursday he doesn't plan to change his vote.