Fluvanna Review

Leslie, Christy and George Cushnie enjoy their new tasting room. Photo by O.T. Holen.Fluvanna’s only winery is growing more than grapes.

Thistle Gate owners George and Leslie Cushnie have opened a tasting room, though the official grand opening is scheduled for early October.

 

Add a comment

Read more...

Madeline Feden placed eighth in the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest, winning a $500 college scholarship. The contest, sponsored annually by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) recognizes up-and-coming artists and encourages patriotism in youth. A total of $21,000 in scholarships was awarded to eight finalists, all students in grades 9-12.
Feden, a student home schooled in Palmyra, was sponsored by Ladies Auxiliary VFW 1827, of Charlottesville. “I chose to express patriotism through this mother and her three boys. The woman, Shannon, is a lieutenant colonel in the Marines, who faithfully serves and loves our country. All three boys are inspired by their mother to serve and fight for [our] country, proudly wearing their ‘uniforms’ until they someday get real ones. The note in the background is a letter from the middle son to this mother, thoroughly excited to show off how he taught his younger brother to salute,” Feden said of her colored pencil piece titled “Blessed.”

Add a comment

Photo by Lisa HurdleThough Lake Monticello’s controversial proposed renovation and replacement (R&R) project has gotten much attention recently, the community will also vote this month to select new leadership on the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors.
Four candidates – Stephanie Davis, James Gerling, Charles Harrelson, and Jan Shattls – are vying for two spots on the seven-member Board. One slot exists because Harrelson’s three-year term is up. The other is being vacated by Cole Hunter, who was appointed last year to fill the unexpired term of Richard Cummings.
The proposed $7.2 million R&R project, also up for vote, would make improvements to LMOA facilities, most notably renovating the Ashlawn Clubhouse, demolishing the Eagle’s Nest pro shop building, and constructing a new Bunker Recreation Center. The project would be paid for by $3.8 million from the community’s emergency reserve account (ERA), a $2 million loan from the ERA repaid over 15 years, and existing funds. It would also require a $95 dues increase, raising member dues from $693 to $788. All homeowners also pay the $150 improved property fee and spend $10 yearly per vehicle on barcodes so they may enter the Lake’s gates.
The Fluvanna Review asked the candidates to answer five questions.
Why do you want to serve on the LMOA Board of Directors? What do you have to offer the community?
Stephanie Davis: No longer working full time, I have both the time and desire to invest in enhancing our LMOA environment. Throughout my federal career I awarded and administered complex multimillion dollar contracts. I also served as a mentor to small businesses, assisting them in developing better business practices. I used my business skills while serving as president of a homeowners’ association in Illinois to improve the manner in which they did business and to protect their assets.
James Gerling: I want the opportunity to be a part of the management and decision-making process for the service and overall good to the Lake Monticello community. Others have come before me and made decisions to support and guide the community to thrive. Now I feel it is my turn to help carry the load and be a part of the decision-making process. I want to give, to pay back, and to pay forward into the future.
Charles Harrelson: I have been on the LMOA Board for the past three years. I believe I have listened to the membership and not just the most vocal. The past year has been the most enjoyable as we have accomplished much, including the R&R proposal. When this proposal passes I would like to be a part of the process to see it come to fruition.
Jan Shattls: I want to serve on the Board because we finally have a proactive not reactive Board and I would like to see that continue. Too often whatever one Board has done, the next Board dismantles. I have always taught my children that if you want to see a change, you have to be the change.
Add a comment

Read more...

Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) has taken a position in opposition to the application by Aqua Virginia to increase its water and sewer rates. In November 2011, Aqua Virginia filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a statewide increase averaging 9.9%. The increase for Lake Monticello residents would be more than 13% for water and more than 11% for sewer. The application comes just months after Aqua Virginia attempted to impose ownership of grinder pumps onto homeowners. Aqua Virginia‘s last rate increase was approved in October 2010.

Add a comment

Read more...

Alexander F. Skirpan, Jr., senior hearing examiner for the State Corporation Commission (SCC), filed a report yesterday (June 8) recommending total denial of the request made by Aqua Virginia and other water companies to establish rules under which they could seek a water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC).
“Based on the record in this case, I find that the petitioners have failed to prove sufficient need for the proposed rules,” Skirpan wrote in his ruling, which is not yet publicly available on the SCC website. “There is little, if any, evidence that water and wastewater utilities will be unable to address aging infrastructure concerns through the existing ratemaking process. Indeed, both of the petitioners’ witnesses acknowledged that the current ratemaking process permits accelerated infrastructure replacement.”
Aqua Virginia joined with other water companies to petition the SCC to establish rules that would allow them to seek a WWISC, or an additional fee on top of customers’ monthly water and sewer charges, that would directly fund infrastructure projects. Shannon V. Becker, Aqua Virginia president, explained that having a service charge would allow Aqua to replace critical infrastructure more quickly and to save money in the process. Mike Harrison, a member of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors, countered that Aqua’s rate structure already includes infrastructure and an additional charge would be “double-dipping” customers.
Add a comment

Read more...