Editor’s note: The following refers to a letter written by John Holt, titled “Don’t shake down residents for pool,” printed in the April 20 edition.

Spend money as if it were your own
Mr. Holt’s letter underscores the problem we face resolving the issue of a new pool. I was away on travel for two weeks and found the survey closed before I could respond. A search of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association website, and its associated site map, yielded no swimming pool survey. Has our website been scrubbed of all relevant survey information?
Our community has 4,635 lots, nearly 4,200 homes, and approximately 12,000 residents, yet only 1,374 surveys were tabulated. The survey presented only three options, all requiring payment for a new pool. A “no” option was not available. Are the directors presenting a fait accompli?

A total of only 510 survey respondents were in favor of the 50 percent reserve funds/50 percent new $100 assessment choice for payment, 442 for a new $195 assessment, and 422 for all reserve funds. Is the choice of only 11 percent of our property owners binding? The pool proposal suggests a different location; however, no mention has yet been made of dressing rooms, restrooms, showers, lockers, space for pool pump and filter operations, and storage for supplies and maintenance equipment. Is the cost of these vital amenities included in any estimate presented so far?
If we don’t vote for this expensive new pool and all its required facilities and add-ons – which costs have not yet been disclosed – will we be punished by an immediate closing of the existing facility which still has at least two years of useful life remaining?

The overarching question is what magnitude of rate increases and special assessments will we face as a result of depleting our emergency reserves into the hole for this and other grand amenity plans – undertaken by people who are not spending money as if it were their own?

Dennis A. Paine
Lake Monticello

Some properties reassessed higher, pay higher tax increase
I was interested to read the cover story of last week’s Fluvanna Review [“Supervisors raise taxes nearly 3 percent,” printed April 20] because the conclusion your editor came to was that average property taxes would likely increase by about $50 per year. I understand that this estimate was based on a property assessment of $200,000. Because my recent property assessment had been increased by about 17 percent (2016 versus 2017) and, applied to the increase of over 3 percent in the mil rate, my own estimate was that my taxes would jump by more than $400.

I decided to follow up by calling the Fluvanna County Board of Equalization and was transferred to one of the Board members who just happened to be in the office. His reply was that the tax increase was due to the construction of new amenities (golf course clubhouse, cart barn and renovated Ashlawn Clubhouse, etc.) and that a $400 increase was about right for a house on the golf course (mine is) and would be much higher for Lake properties. And, what’s more, he said that taxes would be even higher in 2018.
The Board member seemed to be quite happy to tell me all about this and suggested that I might consider moving out of the Lake to another area in the county where taxes were much lower.

I would like to suggest that you do a follow-up article in more depth showing what the tax increases are for a wider sample of Lake houses and what percent of the county’s taxes are paid by Lake property owners. Seems it might be a good time to organize a large scale protest!

Jay Brown
Lake Monticello