Don Weaver Gets Longevity Award

By Heather Michon

Cunningham Supervisor Donald Weaver was presented with the Virginia Association of Counties (VACO)’s Longevity Award at the top of the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday (Oct. 16).

Weaver was elected as a supervisor in November 1989 and was sworn in January 1990. “Someone asked me if it was 1890,” he quipped.

Representatives from the Lake Monticello Homeowners Association (LMOA) were also rewarded for longevity during the meeting: supervisors presented them with a framed proclamation celebrating the community’s 50th anniversary. 

Drought watch

Noting the irony of bringing it up on the first day in weeks to see any substantial rainfall, County Administrator Eric Dahl asked the board if it wanted to take initial steps towards a county-wide burn prohibition or burn ban. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide drought watch advisory last week and almost 40 localities across the state have already issued bans. After some discussion, and with more rain in the forecast, supervisors decided to hold on any formal action at this time. 

Sycamore Square

Back in 2002, a small piece of land in the Sycamore Square development on South Boston Road was donated to the county “for a future branch library or additional uses as determined necessary.” With no need for a library branch, supervisors were presented with an ordinance to vacate the donation and release it back as common area for the Sycamore Square Property Owners Association. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposal by a vote of 3-1 at its Oct. 8 meeting.

Supervisor Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) asked Community Development Director Douglas Miles if there had any consideration of using the lot for something like a boys’ and girls club or other public use. Given that the area in and around Sycamore Square is arguably the most densely populated in the county, O’Brien questioned giving up the property if it could be used.

“It’s your determination,” said County Attorney Fred Payne. “You don’t have to vacate it if you don’t want to.”

During the public hearing phase of the discussion, Dr. Linda Staiger said the 1.25-acre parcel might make an ideal place for a farmer and artisans’ market, saying the current farmer’s market at Pleasant Grove is too remote for many residents. “If you have the opportunity to use the property for the community, you should do that.” Residents Kathy Swenson Miller and James Kelley also spoke in favor of, in Kelley’s words, “holding on to the public good for the public good.”

O’Brien suggested the Fluvanna Leadership Development program or the Parks and Recreation department look at the property and see if there was a way to utilize it. Miles cautioned that “from a site design perspective,” the plot was very small, particularly if it was used for anything that required parking.    

Supervisors ultimately voted to defer a decision on the ordinance pending an analysis of the site.

Burn building

Members also deferred a supplemental appropriation for the proposed Fork Union Fire Training Building. 

Purchasing Officer Cyndi Toler said the design firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates had just submitted their initial design for the construction of the “burn building” at an initial cost estimate of $954,544. Site preparation would likely add another $10,000 to $15,000 to that total.

The original estimate for the project was $675,000, but Toler explained that an increase in the cost of steel and a 20 percent increase construction costs over the last year, combined with the request of the burn building committee for a concrete roof, had driven up the cost. Some of this will be offset by a $450,000 grant from the state.

Supervisor Weaver balked at the increased price tag. “We’re already in debt $96 million. Where does it end?” 

He argued that local fire companies are able to train at burn buildings in Albemarle, Goochland, and other nearby localities without much cost to Fluvanna. Chair Mike Sheridan (Columbia), himself a first responder, said the problem was that every time a crew had to leave the area to train, it stretched the county’s already limited emergency response even tighter.

Supervisors voted to defer action on the appropriation for the and asked Toler to approach the design firm for an estimate for a structure with either a smaller footprint or a different configuration that might lower the overall cost. 


Fluvanna Historical Society Director Tricia Johnson gave the semi-annual report for the Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Council (EDTAC). She outlined some of the projects currently underway, including a list of “101+ Things to Do in Fluvanna” and the construction of a LOVE installation at Pleasant Grove. With grants from the state tourism board, around 180 LOVE signs have been erected statewide, supporting the “Virginia Is For Lovers” campaign. Johnson said students from the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at FCHS were taking the lead on designing and installing the sign.  

Horizon blue

Given a choice between Clear Sky, Baby Blue, Heavenly Blue, Spring Water, and Horizon Blue, supervisors selected Horizon Blue for the new Zion Crossroads water tower. A final decision on the logo will come during a November meeting. 

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