Falls Church, ranked second in the 1980 Census in per capita income nationwide, has been hit with a $287,880 bill from Fairfax County. But there's no guarantee the wealthy community will make the payment deadline at the end of this month.
The bill is for Falls Church's share -- 1.79 percent -- of Fairfax County's fancy, new, $18.7 million judicial center, in which the city tries its general district and circuit court cases.
Fairfax County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert said Falls Church has known about the debt since early spring but has not worked out a contract with the county for paying it, as has, for example, Fairfax City.
"They've been aware all along they owed us the money," Lambert said, adding he hoped the bill would nudge Falls Church into negotiations. "There's got to be more meaningful dialogue between the county and Falls Church. They want to pay their share at the same rate as we pay the construction bonds, instead of up front, but they have not guaranteed those bonds."
But Harry Wells, Falls Church city manager, said he does not plan to send Fairfax County the full payment in 30 days or any time.
"We don't say we don't owe the money because we do," Wells said. "But the only amount we have in the budget is our share of the interest and capital figured on a yearly payment until the bonds are paid off. That is the way we intend to pay it."
If Fairfax County is looking for a quick solution, it may be disappointed, he said. He said he's going to send only what Falls Church claims it owes to cover one year's interest and principal.
"We don't have any more than that," he said