The Fairfax County Water Authority has agreed to cut its proposed budget for furnishings in its new office building from $300,000 to no more than $45,000 following a meeting Saturday with members of the County Board of Supervisors.
Board Chairman John F. Herrity said the water authority representatives were "changing their approach" and were going to bring some of the furniture now being used in their rented facilities in Springfield to the new building at the corner of Prosperity Avenue and Rte. 50 when they move in November.
The supervisors asked the water authority to reconsider its decision to spend almost $300,000 after Supervisor Audrey Moore (D-Annandale) criticized the quasi-autonomous authority July 18 for what she called "a brazen waste of public monies."
Moore had also attacked the authority's timing in approving the expenditure only two weeks after it had ordered a water rate increase.
In paring down the $300,000 amount, Herrity said the authority decided to eliminate a $5,000 expenditure for art in the new building. "We have groups and clubs here who would like to display their art (in a public place) and that's certainly better than $5,000 for the public to pay," Herrity explained.
The water authority will also cut in half two other amounts - $5,000 for signs and $10,000 for plants.
Moore had also called the authority to task for including a decorative water fountain in the building. "While urging water conservation to the public and at the same time erecting a water fountain which they don't need (is) irresponsible," Moore had said.
The water authority replied that the fountain would not waste a drop of water since it would have a recirculating pump. Authority spokesman, James A. Warfield said that the public had not been asked to cut back on its use of water since "we're meeting demands easily, without any problems."
Herrity said construction of the $12,000 fountain would continue because work on it had already begun. "We would only save $2,000 by stopping construction now, and I don't know if that's three coins in the fountain or three slugs in the cesspool," he quipped.