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waterFor the fifth time in 13 years, Aqua Virginia has started the process of raising water and sewer rates for its customers in Fluvanna.

Aqua’s biggest customer in Virginia is the Lake Monticello system, which serves Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square. Aqua also provides water service to Columbia, Palmyra, and Stagecoach Hills. All told, the company provides service to 4,648 locations in Fluvanna. Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square account for 4,550.

Aqua plans to file its rate case with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on or around Aug. 1, said Gretchen Toner, spokesperson for Aqua America.

Aqua has not released any specifics on how high it wants to raise water and sewer rates, and the rate case filing was not available at press time. John Aulbach, president of Aqua Virginia, will discuss details of the rate case with the Fluvanna Review after the paperwork is filed, Toner said.

Because one rate increase was phased in over two years, Aqua customers have actually seen their water and sewer rates increase six times since the company purchased the system in 2003.

The average water and sewer bill at Lake Monticello is $118 – an amount that has more than tripled since the average customer paid $38 a month in the years before and immediately after Aqua bought the system. Add a comment

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Changes may help division run “smoother and leaner”

Even though Chuck Winkler has served in the role of superintendent since Jan. 1, he officially assumed the job on July 1. As he ushers in the new school year, Winkler announced changes in the School Board Office staff.

Perhaps the biggest change is in the top administrative structure.

Winkler eliminated the positions of assistant superintendent, director of finance and director of student services.

Brenda Gilliam’s title and role has changed. Gilliam was the director of curriculum and instruction. She is now the executive director for instruction and finance.

Don Stribling is now the executive director of student services, operations and human resources, Winkler said.

“As I began my new role, I worked with the administrative team to determine how to best structure the School Board Office staff to best serve the school division,” Winkler said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with and leading the dedicated, caring staff to continue to make a quality difference for the children of Fluvanna.” Add a comment

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Chuck WinklerSuperintendent Chuck Winkler was forthright with the Fluvanna County School Board at the Board’s seminar Wednesday morning (July 26).

“We are failing our students in special education,” Winkler said. “We are fully accredited. We should be proud of that. Are we fully staffed in special education? As far as the regulations are concerned, yes. As far as the needs of our students? No.“

Brenda Gilliam, executive director of instruction and finance, showed the Board preliminary Standards of Learning (SOL) results that show all Fluvanna schools will be fully accredited.

However, when it came to federal monitoring of the SOLs, in which students are broken down into groups by race, disabilities, economic disadvantage and English as a second language, the picture isn’t as rosy.

Consistently throughout grade levels, disadvantaged and disabled students don’t hit federal benchmarks. Add a comment

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Meredith Locascio and Lauren ReedWhile students don’t start school until Aug. 9, 30 new teachers and instructional assistants came to the middle school Thursday (July 27) to get a head start.

Superintendent Chuck Winkler greeted them, as did School Board Chair Carol Carr and Board member Perrie Johnson.

The group spent the day getting acquainted with each other, the administrative staff and building principals.

Here is a snapshot of most of the new teachers:

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Bill SnowWilliam Snow spoke to the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) members on the subject of how to create mood and atmosphere in watercolor painting – a skill that baffles most painters.

“This method works for any medium and addresses any time of day,” he said. “The problem with copying photos is they will not give you the results you want.” He recommended doing a value sketch to pin down the sources of light in a photo or when outside sketching. He advised his listeners not to copy the photo literally but to change it, making it their own composition. The drawback to copying photos when artists are not sure what they are painting, he said, is that they add a lot of minutia in the photo that doesn’t enhance the painting.

While Snow showed the members successful watercolor techniques, an overhead camera projected onto a larger screen how Snow applied his method, allowing the audience to watch as he painted and talked. In the past, members sidled up and gathered around the table to watch the artist work and could not always see what the artist was doing. This was a milestone.

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