Fluvanna Review

Three new cell phone towers are coming to Fluvanna, bringing with them much-needed coverage for the Bremo Bluff, Columbia, and Kents Store areas of the county.
Fluvanna County just happens to be in one of only four areas in the entire state designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2012 as disadvantaged for broadband and cell phone coverage, said Emergency Services Coordinator Cheryl Wilkins.
The FCC’s Mobility Fund project is providing financial incentive for private companies to build the facilities necessary to expand third generation, or “3G,” mobile wireless services to areas of the country in which it would not normally be cost-effective for those companies to build – an initiative similar to the one that brought electricity to rural areas in the 1930s.
T-Mobile won the contract – $2 million to bring 3G and 4G mobile services to eastern Fluvanna County – and a developer named 52 Eighty Partners LLC is building the three telecommunications towers, said 52 Eighty’s representative Dale Finocchi. By federal requirement, the project needs to cover 75 percent or more of the 176 Fluvanna road miles specified by the FCC.
Not only is this project good news for Fluvanna residents who need cell phone coverage in their homes and on the road, but it also gives a boost to emergency services in the county in that the county can use the towers for its E911 radio communications. Right now in the rural areas of the county there are dead zones where law enforcement and rescue personnel can’t call in or out. But access to these new towers will go a long way toward alleviating that problem.
The first tower will be off of Venable Road in Kents Store. The second will be off Bremo Road near Columbia. And the third will be only half a mile from the tower at Dominion’s power plant in Bremo Bluff. For security reasons, Dominion won’t allow T-Mobile access to its tower, which is why 52 Eighty is building another tower so close by.
Emergency services in the county will have access to the first two towers for communications, but have waived their claim to access to the Bremo Bluff tower since they already use the Dominion tower for communications.
The monopole towers will all be less than 200 feet tall and will be somewhat visible in their areas, Finocchi said on Wednesday (Sept. 17) as he showed the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors photos of the three locations with the towers digitally inserted into the images.
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Erin Edgerton won Best In Show.There were not many entries in this years’ annual photo contest sponsored by Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation but those who participated showed some awe-inspiring work including Erin Edgerton, one of the youngest entrants at age 15.

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Aqua Virginia is responding to the meter switch-out situation faced by some Lake Monticello customers by re-checking all 4,000 meters from the Lake.
Recently Aqua swapped out 4,000 manual meters, some of which were 20 or 25 years old, for new radio-frequency meters that can be read from a moving vehicle.
But on the month the switch took place, some Aqua customers in the Lake reported receiving unusually high bills that charged them for anywhere from two to 17 times their normal water usage.
Shannon V. Becker, president of Aqua Virginia, told the Fluvanna Review that when his company investigated three such cases, it found that two of them were in fact its own mistake. The data on the old meters had either been misread or misrecorded in the system. In the third case the household really did use an exceptional amount of water, he said.
Becker said Aqua is addressing the issue by manually re-checking each old meter, documenting its reading on a spreadsheet, and taking a photo of the meter face, so that “when people call they have answers.”
With a 4,000-meter swap, Becker said, “it doesn’t surprise me that there were a few manual errors…. We want to make sure that people who have issues are getting them addressed… I don’t want there to be any question that we aren’t doing it right.”

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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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