Letter to the Editor

Dredging thoughts

Based on information received, Lake Monticello was about 10 years behind when the dredging program began and substantial progress has been made rectifying that situation but there is still work to do. It has been estimated to take three years for a complete circuit around the lake, clearing out the shorelines. Looking into the future, as other actions are taken, such as the underwater best management process projects being planned at the head of the coves and those slowing the flow of debris further upstream, the amount of silt coming into the lake will diminish, thus providing some relief from the inflow of debris, even though never completely eliminating the need for dredging.

That brings me to wondering why it has been deemed as necessary to make a function that will have a diminishing need more productive. It will always take three years to make the circuit around the shores of the lake as long as we have one barge. The amount of time savings being argued in favor of another offload adjacent to Beach 2 will not put a dent in that fact, and even if it did, for what purpose? What would be the stated purpose of cutting the circuit time for going completely around the lake from 36 months to let’s say 30 months as long as we are staying ahead of the silt inflows and consistently making progress to lake restoration? It is a job that never ends and with the other management processes being implemented it seems we can easily stay ahead of the need for dredging and may even get to the point that it is no longer an ongoing full-time job.

Trying to increase the productivity of the dredging operation is like trying to get those people that maintain the Golden Gate Bridge to paint faster. That bridge has constantly been painted and repainted since the day it was constructed and that process will continue forevermore. The only difference between the Golden Gate Bridge and our dredging operation is they may be able to benefit from a cost savings of less people, but we only have one person doing the dredging work. As long as progress is being made who really cares if it takes three years to go around the entire shoreline or a few months less? It makes no sense in that it is just a race against no stated objectives because there is no strategic purpose that is not already being accomplished.

–Robert Harris, Palmyra

Reject bulkhead idea

The Lake Monticello Board President recently offered a parsed response to growing community concerns about plans to install a cement dredging bulkhead next to Beach 2.  I thought his answers were gratuitously dismissive.

I don’t live at the cove leading to that beach nor do I personally know anyone who does.  But they’re my neighbors nonetheless.  I care about their safety concerns.  And I particularly care too that a pristine, tree-lined area immediately adjacent to Beach 2, in full view of beachgoers, boaters and nearby waterfront residents, will forever be lost and become a needless eyesore.  The Board president didn’t address that issue.

Dredging is important, and the system here is manpower intensive.  But it would help if the dredging operator worked a full 40-hour week throughout the year, weather permitting.  He does not.  Then so be it that dredging processes take longer.  I believe that if our community was queried as we were prior to the very successful R & R Project that will benefit all of us, that the majority of residents would reject the Beach 2 bulkhead idea.

–Charles Domroe, Palmyra

Clown project

If you live in Lake Monticello and you’ve heard of the Beach 2 fiasco, and you want to know what is going on, drive over to Beach 4. Look over to the left. That is the silt transfer station with the concrete bulkhead, barge and dump truck. Look across the wide cove. It seems like most of the houses prefer the heavy tree screening to the view across the cove.

Then turn around and drive to Tufton Lake. This is the route of the dump truck that transports the silt and debris to the spoils site. It’s a short drive, only 1.4 miles. Pretty simple and it only takes 4 – 5 minutes.

Now swing around and take a right on Jefferson Drive. You are now driving the dump truck route to Beach 2. The proposed and absolutely unnecessary second silt transfer site. Imagine you are driving a very large dump truck loaded with sloppy silt and debris all the way (4.4 miles) along the steep winding hills. Imagine at the Barret St. stop sign, the watery silt leaking out the back. Drive past the tricky intersections with Turkeysag Tr. and Slice Gate Rd. In the golf course area, look out for golf carts crossing the road.

Take a left on Colonial Rd. and follow the signs to Beach 2. That was a pretty long 13 minute drive.

Once you get there, enjoy the beautiful serenity of the place. Look across the small cove to the houses that enjoy the view. There is no tree screening there. The beach is considered by most to be the most beautiful of all the lake beaches. Look to your right at the tranquil end of the cove. That shallow peaceful area was considered prime breeding area for Bluegill and other fish and aquatic life. Not now, it has been ruined because they have dropped the depth from 6-12 inches to 5-6 feet. in order to facilitate the maneuvering of the loaded barge.

Visualize the concrete bulkhead, the barge and the dump truck, which will be just to the right of the beach. It should be dangerous to beach goers when the truck is backing in or out.

There is no benefit from this project, but it is going to cost us $85,000.

I can imagine perhaps, as you sit there, what you would be thinking, saying to yourself, maybe out loud – this is a clown project bro. Whose cockamamie idea is this? It’s the board’s idea bro.

–Tom Ellis, Lake Monticello

Rotary endowment starts ninth year

The Rose Deborah Altschull Endowment For Youth is launching its ninth annual “Bright Start For Kids” program and its fourth annual “Shoes For Success” program and wants your help.   Both programs are designed to help less fortunate elementary age school children in the Fluvanna area to have confidence and get the most they can out of their upcoming school year.

The bright start program provides 60 children with all the back-to-school necessities stuffed into brand new backpacks that are packed by Rotarians and delivered to Central Elementary School just before the school opening in early August.

The shoes program allows 80 deserving elementary age school children to come with their parents or guardians to the Walmart at Zion Crossroads and pick out their very own new pair of shoes.  This year the kids will be invited to the store on Aug. 2 for their shopping event.

The endowment was started on April 2, 2008 and has shown a steady growth pattern from day one.  We now have over 436 different donors and many of those have contributed multiple times.  This year we have already provided $1,000 for a special reading program at the elementary school that allowed over 60 children to go through a five-week session in June and July to improve their reading skills in preparation for this year’s school start.   We also provided funding to send six children to the 4H sleep away camp at Camp Holiday in Brunswick County in the month of June.

If you are moved to help us in our mission to help sponsor a child heading back to school we would really appreciate your contributions in any amount. To pay for a “stuffed backpack” a donation of $50 will cover the entire cost.  To pay for a new pair of shoes a donation of $20 will send a child dancing back to school in style.   The endowment is a part of and managed by the Rotary Foundation Of Fluvanna County.  All donations are 100 percent tax deductible.   Therefore contributions should be written to “The Rotary Foundation Of Fluvanna County Virginia” with a note in the memo section of the check to direct the donation to “The Rose Deborah Altschull Endowment For Youth.”   The mailing address is:  Rotary Club Of Fluvanna County, 265 Turkeysag Tr., Suite 102, Box 114, Palmyra, Virginia 22963.

–Cliff Altschull, Palmyra




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