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( 0 Votes )

Aqua Virginia customers received in their most recent bills notification of the company’s intent to raise water and sewer rates.

Aqua filed a rate case with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) last August to up water rates by 11 percent and sewer rates by 5.4 percent, for a combined increase of 9 percent.

If the SCC approves Aqua’s rate increase, the average Lake Monticello system household bill will rise to $127.39 per month – an increase of 7.4 percent.

Aqua provides water and sewer service to nearly 5,000 homes, offices and other buildings in the Lake Monticello system. Lake Monticello, Sycamore Square, Nahor Village and Piedmont Village comprise the Lake Monticello system, which is Aqua’s largest system in the state. Census data leads Aqua to believe that the Lake Monticello system serves over half of Fluvanna’s population.

Aqua estimates that the average Lake Monticello system household uses 3,200 gallons of water per month – up from its 3,150-gallon estimate from the 2014 rate case.

Aqua also provides water to 40 locations in Columbia, 31 locations in Palmyra, and 28 locations in the Stage Coach neighborhood.

Fluvanna residents who recently bought homes served by Aqua likely had fair warning about the high water and sewer bills. But those who moved in prior to 2005 – the year of Aqua’s first rate increase –have been in for a real surprise. Before 2005, the average household bill was $38.62 per month.

Aqua Virginia poured millions of dollars into fixing the Lake Monticello water and sewer system, which was in such a desperate state that it took 10 years for the company to earn the all-clear from the Department of Environmental Quality.

altBelow is a record of two decades of rate increases. The first, from 1996, provides a reference point. The second, from 2005, is the first of Aqua Virginia’s rate increases.

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( 3 Votes )

Gabe Andersen and familyLake Monticello’s Gabe Andersen gets fired up by finding simple ways to make others’ lives better.

“Making seemingly insignificant changes to how we do things on a daily basis can cause county, country and worldwide ripples if done as a group,” Andersen said.

That’s why earlier in the year he founded Community Ripple.

“My neighbor and I had both unknowingly hired tree companies to do some work on our properties one day apart from each other,” Andersen wrote in an email. “I was sitting there watching from my deck this scene play out and realized how it was costing us more money as well as [creating] unnecessary traffic, pollution and potential road fatalities simply because we didn’t know each other’s plans.”

Joining Community Ripple is free. Not too long ago, Andersen celebrated the 1,000th member. He’s looking forward to adding a zero to that number because the more people who join, the more impact it will have.
Community Ripple’s greatest need is more members.

“Watching potential clients’ mouths drop when I walk them through the simplicity of it all is really exciting,” Andersen said. “You can join in 10 seconds by going to communityripple.com and start saving and connecting today.”

It’s all about making the best use of time and resources within the community. Add a comment

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( 5 Votes )

AthletesAt the end of each sports season, Fluvanna County High School holds an awards banquet for the athletes who have participated in the school’s various athletic activities in that season. The fall banquet for 2017 was held Monday, Nov. 20 in the high school cafeteria. With athletes, coaches, parents, grandparents and siblings in attendance, the cafeteria was quite full.

Scott Morris, high school activities director, was the master of ceremonies as usual. After everyone had been through the food lines, Morris began the ritual of calling on each of the coaches to come to the microphone and give a brief summary of their team’s season and to acknowledge the athletes who achieved District, Region and sometimes State honors.

First to the microphone was volleyball Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett, who said that her team had a great season. She reported that All-District honors were won by Katie Morris, honorable mention, and by Christi Walker, second team. First team selections were Abby Sherman and Candice Shaheen. At the Regional level, Walker was an honorable mention selection, while Sherman made the second team.

Shaheen was named to the Regional first team as the top libero in the Region. The libero is a defensive player who is expected to “dig” out the other team’s intended kill shots and thus keep the ball in play. Shaheen was tremendous at this task. This season she set the Fluvanna school record for most digs in a match, most digs in a season, and most digs in a career.

Golf Coach Bryan Searcy was next up and he noted that his squad had a nice season, recording consistently improving scores. The highlight of the golf team’s season was a victory over Charlottesville. Searcy noted that all his players will return next season.  Add a comment

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( 5 Votes )

Linda Mullin and Susan WalkerMembers of the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) walked through a door in an artisan building in Charlottesville Nov. 17 and emerged into The Glass Palette, an interactive glass studio owned by Maria DiMassimo and her daughter, Cara, who is known as the glass guru.

Against the backdrop of massive concrete walls stood tables full of bold and colorful iridescent and translucent glass. A variety of styles, shapes and patterns were represented, from thin delicate lacy plates to swirled candy stripe tulip-shaped vases, sculptures, sun catchers, jewelry, picture frames, mirrors and even a dress made in glass.

The dress, startling in its painstaking beauty, was the centerpiece in the room, and stood in front of a door framed with a bold mosaic of glass. Each piece of the dress was special in its design. The cobalt and soft blue circles of glass were woven into the dress with lacy, delicate brass chain link. The bodice, all in glass, gleamed under the bright overhead lights. The FAA members stood in awe, trying to imagine how Cara DiMassimo envisioned the design and executed it. There was even a photo of her wearing the dress, which she said weighs over 20 pounds.

Then it was the members’ turn to create. Maria DiMassio explained the process to those who had never made anything out of glass. She demonstrated the use of glass cutters, which to some looked heavy and industrial. She showed the proper way to cut tiny glass pieces, easily snapping them.

“You cannot cut yourself with these unless you deliberately put your finger in between the blades,” she said. Members laughed, which made them less afraid of handling them.

She discussed the variety of items members could make, from a little plate or bowl to earrings, a pendant, or even a Christmas ornament.

“Everything is created on the flat and then fired twice,” said Maria DiMassimo. The materials could be layered and overlapped, but would get tiny beads of glue on the corner. Add a comment

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( 1 Vote )

Carol Tracy Carr and Camilla WashingtonIt takes courage to run for elected office and commitment to do the job once elected.

After serving on the Fluvanna School Board since 2009, Vice Chair Camilla Washington (Columbia) decided to not run for re-election. Chair Carol Carr (Rivanna) was appointed in February 2012, then ran for and won the seat in November that same year. Carr also decided to step down.

The Fluvanna Review asked them both to share their experiences as a Board member and their thoughts on the work they did.

Camilla Washington

Why were you interested in running for School Board and what convinced you to do it?

My sons, Nick and Chris, were fifth graders at Central Elementary School when the Columbia District seat became available. I had been an active participant in my children’s education since kindergarten and a member of the Parent Teacher Association at Columbia and Central Elementary. I was approached by several teachers in the division to pursue becoming the School Board candidate. As I began to think about the position, I saw it as an opportunity to represent the constituents in my district and have a voice for all children in the division.

What was the mood of the county and the country when you first ran?
In 2009 the economy was being challenged with high taxes and financial instability. Locally, the high school was in the final stages of construction and there was still quite a bit of conflict in Fluvanna about the need for the facility and the funds that were spent on the building. Add a comment

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