...Petersen and Roem have questioned whether impacts from data centers are worth the tax revenue and other financial benefits of the large structures.
“Yeah, they bring money in the short term up front, then they depreciate over time, and you don’t get as large a tax return over the years as you get from the initial investment,” said Roem.
Some data centers have been built near established neighborhoods in Prince William County, prompting complaints about noise from residents.
“If data centers are to exist anywhere in western Prince William County, they should be in Innovation Park,” said Roem. “That’s a corridor, right along the Prince William County Parkway, that’s been designed as a technology hub, and we have existing infrastructure there to support data centers going up.”
Roem does not believe the financial benefits of a data center outweigh the potential negatives in the most rural portions of the county.
“At what point do we look at the natural environment of western Prince William County, and we say it’s for sale to whoever’s the highest bidder,” said Roem. “We’re constantly putting money in front of environmental stewardship, protecting natural habitat for wildlife, protecting our water in Occoquan Reservoir area...”