Why the sale of Mottley Lake was poor

Published 11:05 am Thursday, March 10, 2016


Here’s why I believe the Town of Farmville’s sale of Mottley Lake was poor.

First, the $950,000 interest-free loan to Farmville Farms LLC for the first five years of a 10-year payback period subsidizes the speculative purchase of mostly raw property by a private developer.

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The property is not even in Farmville. Farmville taxpayers should not be subsidizing the private development of property, especially property outside of town. Instead, the developer should have gotten the needed money from private sources or paid interest on the total amount of the loan.

Second, it is a stretch to believe that development of this property will provide a significant benefit to the town. It could just as easily siphon economic activity away from Farmville.

Third, development of the Mottley Lake area will increase sprawl and forever decrease the amount of valuable open space in the area.

Fourth, Mottley Lake is still needed as a backup water source for Farmville. Commonly, development is severely restricted around such water sources. We don’t know what steps, if any, the town has taken to protect the water’s quality when development occurs.

Fifth, the deal was unfair to the Simpsons, whose offer was better overall than that of Farmville Farms.

I agree with your recent editorial that Farmville’s Town Council has an obligation to explain their decision to sell Mottley Lake to Farmville Farms instead of the Simpsons (“Head-scratcher on Mottley Lake,” Friday, Feb. 12). If they had sold to the Simpsons, all the above negative aspects of the deal could have been avoided.

William C. Firth