Residents urged to vote on pool, directors at annual meeting

What percentage of Lake Monticello’s population is over 65 and what percentage is below? Ask any five Lake residents and you’ll likely come away with five different answers.

Lake Monticello has traditionally been marketed as a gated haven for retirees and weekenders that is focused around amenities like golf and fishing.

Plus, said General Manager Catherine Neelley in an email, “The bulk of our volunteers are primarily retirees.” This includes the Board of Directors and members of the 15 standing committees governing the community.

This often leads to the sense that Lake Monticello is an older community into which younger people have moved in recent years, and that the number of retirees is consequently dropping.   

Yet a survey of U.S. Census records going back to 1990 shows that percentage of residents over the age of 65 has actually grown – not shrunk – over the past 27 years.

While data is not available for the first 16 years of the development, in 1990 the community became a “census-designated place,” with demographics compiled specifically on Lake Monticello. Lake Monticello does not compile its own demographic statistics.

That year, only 15.6 percent of Lake residents were 65 or over. By 2000, the figure had climbed to 18.2 percent. Today it’s 20.56 percent. Add a comment


Questions about the community pool and food service dominated a candidates’ forum hosted by the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Wednesday night (May 17) at the new Fairway Clubhouse.
LMOA Board President Rich Barringer, Secretary Tom Braithwaite, and Director Bing Spitler are running unopposed for new three-year terms.

Barringer voiced “extreme disappointment” that “we couldn’t get three people together to run for the Board.” Their reelection bids were rooted primarily in ongoing projects they want to see through to completion.

“I think the last two or three years have been pretty exciting years here,” said Barringer.

With the clubhouse renovations now complete, each candidate listed off multiple goals for the next three years and beyond: walking trails, changes to the marina, continued upgrades to the playground and beaches, expansion of the dredging program, and reviews of staffing procedures and safety protocols.  

“And I’ve always wanted a zip-line,” Spitler joked, “but I’ve been told not to bring it up.” Add a comment


Sonia Erickson egg collectionLake resident Sonia Erickson has been collecting Easter eggs for nearly 47 years.

A tree in Erickson’s front yard is decorated with Easter eggs. The front of the house is adorned with wreaths made out of Easter eggs. Inside is an Easter egg wonderland with displays of hundreds of eggs given by friends and family and collected from all around the world by Erickson and her husband, Ed.

“I have 1,300 eggs,” said Erickson. She showed off an antique pale green velvet-covered egg box with flowers on the top that she had as a child growing up in Bavaria, Germany. “This is the oldest.” She opened the box, exposing the threadbare pink silk lining inside.

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Office spaceBy summertime an empty storefront in Jefferson Centre on Turkeysag Trail will open as office spaces for Fluvanna’s growing population of solopreneurs and home-based workers.

Martin Broan, manager of Jefferson Centre Self Storage, said the new flexible office spaces could suit several types of businesses.

“If you’re a lawyer or accountant working out of your home office, but you don’t want people coming to your house, or having to get them through the gate,” then the temporary office space could be a perfect solution, Broan said.

The front office, with its big storefront windows, might work well for “holistic medicine or maybe massage,” he said. “You could even run a used car lot here,” he said, noting the inside offices and ample parking area outside. Add a comment


Emil and Margaret ColmenaresResidents of Lake Monticello and members of the Gray Foxes golf league said goodbye to their long-time friend and advocate, Emil Colmenares, 99, and observed a final tribute to his fourth wife, Margaret, on Saturday (March 11) at the Lake Monticello Fire House.

“It was beautiful,” said Carlton Colmenares, the sixth of Emil’s seven children, who drove from Hempstead, Texas, to celebrate the life of his stepmother, who died in January.
“A lot of my dad’s friends here at the Lake were very glad to see him and spent several hours with him,” he said.

Carlton Colmenares described his father as someone with “tremendous charm and fun. People flocked around him,” he said. “He swept Margaret off her feet because he was very gregarious.”

Margaret Ashley Kennon Colmenares found a zest for life in the handsome businessman whose enthusiasm and audacity made him an extraordinary salesman who was great at marketing. He had a contagious personality, too.

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