Lake

Pool design finalized

Lake Monticello General Manager Catherine Neelley told the Board of Directors at a budget work session Thursday (Nov. 2) that the pool will be functional through the 2018 season.
“We’re going to make it another year, no problem,” she said to the visible relief of some members.

Finance Director Dabney Wallford told the directors that the pool lost less water than in the previous year, in part due to the contractor sealing cracks, and that the pool manager kept the chemical levels balanced despite ongoing problems with the filtration system.

Cracks and the failing plumbing system were the chief reasons the Board called for replacement of the 41-year-old pool earlier this year.
The process has not been without controversy.

While initial estimates of the replacement were around $750,000, the Board eventually decided to request $900,000 to fund the project. Residents approved a funding plan that will take $436,000 from the Emergency Reserve Account and $463,600 from the membership in the form of a one-time special dues assessment of $100 per household.

Voters had to make this decision without knowing what any proposed new pool would look like or where it would be located. Directors initially believed it would be more cost-effective to build on a new site, either adjacent to the existing pool or near the golf course. In September they announced it would be built on the current site. Add a comment

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Thursday night (Oct. 19) marked the first official meeting of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Ad Hoc Committee on Aqua Virginia Rates.

During the hour-long meeting, chairperson Mike Harrison walked the five new committee members through a lengthy list of tasks to be accomplished over the coming weeks and months.

The LMOA Board of Directors approved the formation of the committee within hours of learning that Aqua Virginia was seeking a rate increase back in September. Harrison, who chaired the same committee during the last round of Aqua rate hikes in 2014 and 2015, was appointed to oversee this new effort.

Aqua has requested that the State Corporation Commission (SCC) approve an 11 percent increase in water rates and 5.4 percent increase in sewer rates, to reach a combined revenue increase of $1.9 million.

The company is also requesting permission to implement a water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC), a separate charge customers would pay to allow Aqua to recover its investments in repairing or replacing aging infrastructure. The company has not yet said how much this service charge would be, but Aqua Virginia President John Aulbach has previously said it would most likely be capped at about 10 percent of the average statewide monthly bill.

The SCC denied the request for the WWSIC in 2015 and Harrison said he is hopeful that community pressure can convince it to do so this time around. Add a comment

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altWith a new round of Aqua Virginia rate hikes on the horizon, the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) is moving fast to minimize the impact on area residents.

Within 24 hours of learning about Aqua’s proposed 7.4 percent rate increase, the LMOA Board of Directors voted to form an ad hoc committee to organize the community’s response. Board President Rich Barringer will serve as liaison to the committee. Former Board member Mike Harrison will serve as committee chair. 

About 15 members of the community met with Harrison at Fairway Clubhouse Thursday night (Sept. 14) to learn more about the plan of attack and decide if they wanted to join the committee.

“The chances of us eliminating the rate increase is exactly zero, but we can probably reduce it,” Harrison said.

Aqua’s rate case brings back the water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC), which was denied by the State Corporation Committee (SCC) in 2015. The additional charge, which could be as high as 10 percent of the average customer bill, would be used to fund capital improvements. Harrison said he believes the community can fight the implementation of WWISC.

Harrison outlined the series of steps the committee will have to take between now and May 2018.

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Lake Monticello poolLake Monticello’s new community pool will be rebuilt in its current location beginning late in 2018, according to Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Treasurer Marlene Weaver.

Weaver, one of two LMOA Board members on the pool design committee, outlined the evolving project last week.

Based on discussions with a pool contractor earlier this year, members of the Board initially believed it would be easier and potentially more cost-effective to build the new pool at a different location. Discussions with different engineers in recent weeks have convinced the design committee that “the more prudent decision is to replace the pool at the current site,” Weaver wrote.

Potential issues and costs involved in building on a new site include permitting, stormwater management, and relocation of utility lines.

In an email, Weaver said keeping the pool in its current location is “more expensive to build, but, since there would be other fees involved to move the pool, it was decided that the savings to move it was not worth the change.” She noted that using the current spot was always the most desired location, and given the problems that could arise in a new location, “we feel it would be the same cost either way after the engineers presented their information.” Add a comment

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House fireA Lake Monticello family is safe after escaping an early-morning fire that destroyed their home on Seminole Trail in Cherokee Section today.

Delton and Donna Hanson were asleep in the basement master suite when Delton awoke to see their ceiling in flames at around 3:40 a.m. on Monday (Aug 21).

They were able to get their children and the family dogs outside and call the Lake Monticello Fire Department for help. One daughter sustained minor burns on her hand as they exited.

Hanson said the smoke detectors didn’t go off until the house was almost fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters did what they could to salvage some of the family’s possessions while extinguishing the fire, but the fast-moving blaze left little behind. Add a comment

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