Fluvanna Review

Columbia. Photo by Tricia Johnson The question of whether to dissolve the town of Columbia is one step closer to being on the ballot in November.
Wednesday afternoon (July 2) the Board of Supervisors approved by a vote of 4-1 a resolution supporting the disestablishment of the town of Columbia with Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch dissenting.
This agreement between the town and the county, said town attorney Jessica Phillips, is the first step toward dissolving the town. Essentially the agreement lays out the terms on which the county would receive the town back – assuming, of course, that all the steps are properly followed.
In an email to the Fluvanna Review, Columbia Mayor John Hammond outlined the main reasons he and the town council are seeking to disincorporate the town. “Given our small population and limited resources we no longer believe that it makes sense to be an incorporated town,” he wrote. “We don’t have the ability to provide municipal services and rely heavily on the county for assistance. We’re facing a small [and] dwindling tax base, a limited budget and a lack of human resources to fill necessary roles typically needed for town government.”
But not everyone agrees that dissolving the town is the best move for Columbia. During the meeting two Columbia property owners spoke out against the idea.
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The newly opened Panda Chinese restaurant has a lot going for it, food-wise that is. If you’re one of the ones looking for décor and ambiance, Chinese red walls and gold Oriental fans, that is not what Panda is all about. The restaurant offers take-out, a few tables set up for eating in, and catering for small or large parties. It is a place for the true Chinese food lover.

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Ian Jackson, of I and J Home Builders talked to the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association Board at Thursday (June 28) night’s board meeting about more than 30 acres he hopes to buy on the Lake side of Route 618. Jackson said he plans to build homes that would cost between $190,000 and $200,000.

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The crumbling of Columbia. Photo by Tricia Johnson Preservation Virginia has placed the town of Columbia on its “2014 Most Endangered Historic Sites” list just as the council of the beleaguered town takes steps to dissolve the town’s charter. (See “Supervisors approve Columbia dissolution plans.”)
Justin Sarafin, director of Preservation Initiatives and Engagement for Preservation Virginia, said the hope is that Columbia’s inclusion on the list will “really galvanize support, and help the community move forward.”
“It is about trying to problem solve, not lament a loss,” he said. “The interpretation of the site is an important component, especially if all or some of the historic resources are lost – if they are deemed not suitable for rehabilitation. Whether it is preservation of the street layout, or interpretation by signage or some kind of permanent outdoor exhibit as part of a park, Columbia’s history is a story that needs to be told.”
“Columbia…touches all these major areas of American history so poignantly,” Sarafin said, “that is where its value really lies – with the stories it can tell.” Columbia has had many periods of historical significance, beginning with the area’s time as Rassawek, the home of the Monacan Nation. Columbia’s rivers, the James and the Rivanna, served as a hub of commercial transportation during Colonial times, and Columbia was the site of both an armory and the farthest inland naval battle of the American Revolution at Point of Fork.

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Nate Szarmach won first place and best in show.The Fluvanna Art Association made their yearly sojourn to Fluvanna County High School recently to judge this years’ works.

Nate Szarmach took best in show for his large scale painting of an elderly couple walking through a garden. This same painting won first place in the advanced student category. Szarmach was touted as the one to watch by his former middle school art teacher Margie Kritzer. Current FCHS teacher, Diane Greenwood has also helped him to develop his talent. Add a comment

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