Fluvanna Review

Sage Garden owners Roberta and John Mann and their golden retriever Tara.The proposal. It’s one of those family stories their now grown children have heard countless times. John and Roberta attended the same high school in New Jersey, but never met until they ran into each other in Colorado several years later. They started dating and discovered how much they had in common. When John felt it was time to pop the big question, Roberta had a question for him.

“Yes, but only if we live on a farm,” she replied. “I’m going back East to be closer to my family, and I’m going to buy a farm. Are you on board?”

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Photo by Lisa HurdleHundreds of people flocked to the Fluvanna County courthouse Monday afternoon and evening (March 16) for two separate public hearings on Aqua Virginia’s proposed water and sewer rate increase.

About 180 people, largely Lake Monticello residents and Aqua customers, attended the afternoon hearing and about 140 people attended the evening hearing. Both hearings were held by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to allow the public to weigh in on Aqua’s request to raise its rates so as to produce a 12 percent increase in water revenues and a 6.7 percent increase in sewer revenues.

About 50 residents of Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square spoke at the hearings. Each person spoke emphatically against Aqua and its proposed rate increase.

“Aqua Virginia states that it deserves a return on assets of over 10 percent,” said Burton Marks. “The mere idea of guaranteeing any return is repulsive to the capitalist citizen. Mr. Anderson,” he continued, addressing SCC hearing examiner Howard P. Anderson, Jr., “do you or any of the SCC members have any investments in your portfolio that are risk-free?… I urge you to totally deny the rate increase proposed and imposed by Aqua Virginia. And while you’re at it, please have Aqua Virginia refund our money with 10 percent interest.”

Vivian Kellogg said, “I urge you to look into the predatory business model of Aqua Virginia. As an essential service provider Aqua should not be allowed to milk customers for profits to give to shareholders.”

“There is a difference between making a profit and making an excessive profit,” Jean DeMarco said. “If our cable TV rates are raised unfairly we can cancel our cable service, but we cannot cancel our water service.”

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Kelly Williams owns the Painted Horse Ranch.The Painted Horse Ranch Bed and Breakfast isn’t all things to all people, but it could be exactly what you need.

Kelly and Mike Williams own the Painted Horse Ranch just east of the Hardware River on Rt. 6. They call it home and so do about a dozen horses the couple train. Kelly envisioned having a place on their peaceful ranch for people who come to have their horses trained could stay and relax.

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Lake candidatesLake Monticello Owners Association members will vote for two new board members on June 30. Running for the two seats are Dick Cummings, Page Gifford and Charles Harrelson. The election will fill vacancies created by the expiration of the second three-year term of Don Fickes and the vacant term created by the resignation of Benita Ellen in January.

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Have you ever wished you could give some time to a worthy cause? Have you wanted to hook up with a group doing work you believe in but didn’t know where to start?
The Volunteer Fluvanna! fair may be just right for you.
This Saturday (March 21) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. representatives from all sorts of Fluvanna organizations will join together in the high school cafeteria and main hall for a fair hosted by class 12 of the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program (FLDP).
The goal of the fair is to match groups in need of volunteer help with Fluvanna citizens eager to donate some time to a cause they care about.
“We’re hoping people will see the organizations and say, hey, I might want to join them,” said John Down, FLDP class member. He and his classmates are expecting up to 50 non-profits and volunteer organizations at the fair.
Some non-profits will have door prizes, said Jackie Bland, another FLDP class member, and the high school band boosters will have food for sale.
“Many folks don’t realize how meaningful it is to these non-profits [to have] a volunteer who can help – even if it is for as little as an hour a week,” Bland said. “And there are all sorts of roles to fill that match a volunteer’s talents.”
The Fluvanna Leadership Development Program is a six-month course dedicated to teaching Fluvanna residents about the inner workings of their county. Usually FLDP students choose their own final project, but this year the steering committee decided class members would all work together to put on this fair.
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