Newsletter articles

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  • May 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – May 2022

    Several of our members asked question during the LACA 2021 Survey about how they can get their well water tested.  One of the best resources available to Virginians is the Virginia Household Water Quality Program managed by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.  You can go to the web page for this program by typing https://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu/vahwqp.php into your favorite internet browser or by just clicking on the image for the program in this newsletter.

    Some of the more useful resources on the program’s web page include a brochure covering ten tips for managing your private well water supply and details on Well Water Testing and Drinking Water Clinics held by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The clinics cover how to collect a good water sample, how the analysis is performed and how the results are interpreted.  The 2022 schedule for the clinics has not yet been posted on their website but it is expected soon. 

    Cost for the lab analysis is $60 according to their website.  There are a huge number of commercial labs where you can get your water tested anytime you want to check it.  Costs vary widely based on the number of parameters tested but some commercial labs charge up to $300 for a single test.  A listing of commercial labs is available on the Virginia Cooperative Extension website or click here to go to the document.

    Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office to find out when the next Drinking Water Clinic is going to be held in your area.  You can contact the local Virginia Cooperative Extension office at:

    •  Louisa: 200 E. Main Street, Louisa, VA 23093, (540) 967-3422 
                Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Monday – Friday)
    •  Spotsylvania:  8800 Courthouse Road, The Marshall Center, Room   202, Spotsylvania, VA 22553 (540) 507-7570.  The Marshall Center is   currently locked to the public.  Please call to make an appointment   to meet with an agent.

               Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

    • Orange: 146 North Madison Road, Suite 102, Orange, VA 22960 (540) 672-1361

               Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

    Interested LACA members are welcome to volunteer in support of LACA’s Water Quality Monitoring Program.  Contact the Water Quality Project Officer at this link if you are interested in learning more or volunteering.

    harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org


  • May 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jean McCormick – May 2022

    Now is a good time to look at the fire extinguisher in your boat.  Beginning April 20, 2022, new U S Coast Guard regulations take effect, on Federal waters, that change extinguisher expiration dates and the minimum classification of fire extinguishers carried aboard newer boats. This is a Change in Federal law and will not affect boaters on Lake Anna because Lake Anna is “sole state waters” and does not fall under Federal regulations .  But, if you take your boat on Federal waters, (the Potomac or Rappahannock Rivers, Chesapeake Bay…) this law will be in effect, and you will be expected to have updated your fire extinguishers.

    The new U S Coast Guard regulation puts a 12-year expiration on all disposable (non-rechargeable) fire extinguishers. The manufacturers’ date may be two or four digits (ex. 16 or 2016) stamped on the bottom of the bottle or near the UL label.

    The other big change:  boats that are model year 2018 or newer must carry a newer “5-B, 10B and 20-B” classified extinguisher rather than those with older “B-I” and “B-II” labels which are being phased out. The number in the new labels refer to the size (in square feet) of a potential fire the device is suitable to extinguish.  For boats less than 26 feet and 2018 model year and newer, a fire extinguisher must be an unexpired “5-B”, or “10-b” or “20-B”. For 2018 models and newer recreational boats 26-65 feet, requirements vary. (Check the table below.)

    If your boat is a 2017 model or older, you may carry the older “B-I” or “B-II” disposable extinguishers until their 12-year expiration date.  Then they must be replaced with the newer class extinguishers: either a 5-B-C or a 10-B-C or 20-B-C.  Local landfills will accept expired fire extinguishers.

    The 12-year expiration date puts the U S Coast Guard regulations in line with the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation.

    You can assume that the U S Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadron’s VESSEL SAFETY CHECK program will include this new regulation as part of their free, no-penalty, vessel exams.

    jean.mccormick@lakeannavirginia.org

     


  • May 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi – May 2022

    This past fall and winter, I wrote articles related to those seasons.  I hope you found them helpful.  To continue my health series, there are a variety of health risks that come with the warmer weather.  It’s a time that we all wait for, a time to get out of the house and enjoy the higher temperatures, sunshine and longer days.  Those longer days increase the possibility of insect and animal bites and physical injuries associated with increased activity, especially outdoor sports.  So, let’s run through a few warm weather consequences.

    Insect Bites and Stings- Most insect bites and stings cause a mild reaction, such as redness, itching or minor swelling.  There may be an instant burning pain or redness at the site.  A welt at the site may be present, or a small white spot at the sting area, where you may be able to see the stinger.  A moderate reaction may be swelling around the area that increases through the day and may last several days.  A severe reaction, or anaphylaxis, may cause shock, respiratory and cardiac arrest within minutes.  Symptoms may include swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness.  Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and 911 should be called. 

    People known to have an anaphylaxis reaction should always carry epinephrine.  For treatment of a mild reaction, cold compresses or topical cortisone cream should reduce pain.  If a stinger is visible, remove by pushing it aside with a scraping motion.  Do not grab with fingers or tweezers or more toxin may be released.  Administer an antihistamine as prescribed, if not allergic to this medicine.  A person may consider West Nile virus if generalized symptoms continue.

    Animal Bites- During warmer months, the possibility of non-domestic or domestic bites increases.  Stray and wild animals, including bats, raccoons and skunks, bite thousands of people every year.  Animal bites have a greater probability of becoming infected, especially for people with diabetes, peripheral artery disease or weakened immune systems.  If bitten by a non-domestic animal, call 911 and move to a safe area.  Authorities will attempt to capture and quarantine and test for rabies.  A health care provider should be seen within 24 hours to assess for infection.  Other diseases transmitted may be viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic. 

    Other warm weather issues to consider - Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by a bite from an infected tick, which may affect joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  Treatment is with antibiotics.  After outdoor activities, persons should examine all areas of the skin, especially the groin, axilla and scalp.  Mostly, a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or longer before transmitting Lyme disease bacteria. 

    Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac - All poisonous plants are found throughout yards, gardens and wooded areas.  Identification of these plants is the best way to avoid becoming victim to their allergic reactions.  There are many samples of types of leaves online. Becoming familiar with the different varieties may help you avoid coming in contact.   If you come in contact with any of the above, immediately wash the skin with soap and warm water.  Apply cold compresses or soak the area in cold water.  Over-the-counter oral antihistamines are helpful.  For more severe rashes, oral, cream, ointment or gel forms of corticosteroids may be used.  Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and enclosed footwear. 

    These are just a few of the problems associated with the beginning of warm weather season.  After being restricted to mostly being indoors for the past two or more years, everyone is anxiously awaiting getting out into the fresh air and resuming those wonderful, fun activities that may find us in one of the situations listed in this article. 

    My next article will contain information about how to respond to snake bites, concussions, drowning, lacerations and puncture wounds, sprains and strains, sunburn and West Nile virus.  Most of these topics become more prevalent as the temperatures increase and we are swimming and spending longer hours outdoors.  If you have any questions related to anything mentioned in this article, be sure to email me at sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org and I will be glad to answer any questions or concerns.  See you next month.

    sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org


  • April 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Ron Skinner - April 2022

    LACA is excited to announce the “Kick the HAB” @ Lake Anna campaign. The goal of the campaign is to pilot a Cyanobacteria monitoring and mitigation program during the upcoming 2022 recreational season.  A fundraising target of $75,000 to $100,000 will be needed for the pilot.  See how to donate below and on the LACA website at the “DONATE NOW” button.

    “Kick the HAB” is intended to minimize the need for Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recreational “no-swim” advisories on Lake Anna.   By getting out in front of developing potential harmful algal blooms, the plan would succeed by safely keeping Cyanobacteria growth in check before reaching critical threshold cell concentrations that would trigger an HAB advisory to be issued by VDH. 

    LACA has been conducting water quality monitoring at Lake Anna alongside Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for many years.  In addition, for the past two years we have added a more frequent and intensive Cyanobacteria Monitoring program focused on the problematic upper lake region tributaries.  We have also over the last four years investigated and researched various approaches, methodologies, and emerging technology aimed at HAB mitigation, remediation and prevention. 

    These efforts have convinced us that the underlying causes are complex, deep-rooted and difficult to precisely identify.  The solutions will need to be multi-faceted, will be expensive, and will take a lot of effort over a long timeframe.  We are in the process of documenting an action plan for Cyanobacteria Mitigation, Remediation and Prevention that involves an extensive list of both short range and long-range prospective actions.  Mitigation actions we have evaluated tend to be more cost-effective and targeted for more immediate impacts.  The most promising of these ideas with the greatest potential near-term impact on HABs at Lake Anna and safest environmental outcomes are the mitigation technology we are currently evaluating.

    Of course, approvals will be needed from DEQ, Dominion Energy, and possibly others.  We are currently in the process of reaching out through our Lake Anna Water Quality and HAB stakeholder group for their support and guidance.  As the process of finalizing details progresses, we will also be reaching out to the larger Lake Anna community about the proposed Cyanobacteria monitoring and mitigation pilot program.

    Fundraising for “Kick the HAB” @ Lake Anna

    The “Kick the HAB” @ Lake Anna fundraising campaign will be essential for moving forward with the pilot program.  The fundraising goal is $75,000 to $100,000.  With this in mind, the LACA Board and volunteers have agreed to match up to $35,000 that is raised from the community and LACA members. 

    To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our website at lakeannavirginia.org and click on the “DONATE NOW” button at the top of the Home page.

    Or at the bottom of Home page click on the green “DONATE” button next to the “Kick the HAB” fundraising progress thermometer.

    Or you can send a donation check (Memo – Kick the HAB) to:

    LAKE ANNA CIVIC ASSOCIATION

    P.O. BOX 217

    MINERAL, VA 23117

    LACA has already placed orders totaling approximately $20,000 for equipment that is needed to begin the monitoring segment of the pilot program this Spring.  If approved by DEQ and Dominion Energy, more equipment, supplies and materials will be required to implement the mitigation segment during the Summer months.  These expenses will likely be variable depending on the specifics of an approved mitigation pilot program.

    Please consider making a sizable donation to help “Kick the HAB” @ Lake Anna come to fruition.  Timing is critical for this pilot to proceed in 2022.  LACA would like to raise the necessary funds by June 1st, or we may have to postpone the pilot until 2023.

    Please DONATE now.  If the pilot is successful, we could have a viable pathway towards one long-term solution to HABs and NO recreational advisories on Lake Anna!

    For additional information, you can follow LACA’s Facebook page or send email to KicktheHAB@lakeannavirginia.org 

    LACA is a registered 501(c)(3) charity with the IRS. Our EIN is 54-1576137

    ron.skinner@lakeannavirginia.org


  • April 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker - April 2022

    Elections

    It is that time of year to solicit volunteers for the LACA Board elections which will be held this summer. If you are an old timer at the lake, a new full-time resident that wants to get involved or a weekender that can come down on the first Thursday of the month for our board meeting, LACA could sure use your help. Our goal is to have at least two volunteers on the ballet for each board position. The positions up for election this summer are Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and the Regional Directors in the following regions: Region 2-Jackson/Cuckoo Public Side, Region 4-Brokenburg, Region 6-Mineral/Louisa.

    In addition, we have a vacancy in Region 3-Partlow. We are looking for at least one person that the board might consider appointing to serve out the remainder of the term. Hopefully, we have more than one person that is willing to volunteer for this position, in which case we will hold a special election.

    For the Regional Director positions, you must own property or live in the region. If you are unsure of the boundaries of the regions, you may read our policy statement that defines the boundaries. In most cases the boundaries are in line with the county voting districts. There are maps of these districts on our website as well that you can see here. Each position on the board has a term of two years. 

    To learn about the roles and responsibilities of those roles, by clicking the following: Regional Director Roles or Officer Roles. If being on the board is not your cup of tea, but you would like to volunteer for one of our committees, please let us know. Our standing committees are Water Quality, Environmental Preservation, Fireworks, Emergency Services & Safety, Land Use and Membership & Marketing. We can also use help in managing our website, publishing our newsletter and grant writing. There is never a shortage of opportunities to help LACA and Lake Anna.

    If you are interested or would like to find out more, please email the election committee which is made of myself and Irene Luck at either greg.baker@lakeannavirginia.org or irene.luck@lakeannavirginia.org

    Four Seasons RV Park

    Since the Four Seasons RV Park SUP application was denied by the Planning Commission in a vote of 7-0, the application has been on the back burner waiting to be heard by the Board of Supervisors. We believe the application will reach the Board on their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 10th at 4:30.

    The rules for the Board of Supervisors meeting are different than those of the Planning Commission as it relates to the ability to speak or have an email read into the record.

    John Wayne (LACA’s land use Chair) and I are working diligently to determine what we think might be the best course of action for our members to express our opposition to this application. 

    Please mark your calendars for May 10th and make every effort to join us in person. We will communicate on our website, through our newsletter and our timely E-Grams as we have more information. As we learn more, we will be requesting all of our members and their friends and families start an email/letter writing campaign directly to the Supervisors.

    We also hope to meet with the newly elected Livingston District Supervisor, Jake Lane in the coming days to solicit his advice and input.

    To be clear, every effort to date has been nothing more than a scrimmage. The ultimate outcome is up to the majority of the seven Supervisors. The real battle is yet to come on May 10th.

    Jack Bertron Award Nominees Requested

    It is also that time of year to solicit nominees for the “Jack Bertron Distinguished Service Award.” Annually, LACA awards an individual or an organization our highest honor/recognition for their outstanding work for the benefit of LACA or more important Lake Anna.

    To learn more about the criteria for this important award, please click here or click to see a list of the past winners. There is also a terrific article about last year’s winner, Elk Creek Farm written by our very own Irene Luck.

    Kick the HAB @ LKA

    Please be sure to read Ron Skinner’s newsletter article about our new fundraising campaign. I hear from our members all the time that they “know” what causes HAB and we need to stop talking about it, researching it, testing it and instead, just fix it! 

    I do really wish that this extremely complex problem was that easy to identify and remediate, but the issue is not an easy fix and could cost well into the hundreds of millions of dollars to permanently eradicate.

    This new fundraising effort is LACA’s first attempt to execute a plan that could potentially have a measurable impact.  Our goal is to treat the lake prior to HAB outbreaks with the hope of preventing or shortening VDH’s recreational no-swim advisories that have plagued the lake for the past four years.

    There is much to do on this project, most importantly obtaining the proper permissions and permits from the regulatory authorities and Dominion Energy.

    Our goal is to execute this plan in 2022! However, in spite of the regulatory challenges, if we are successful, we want to ACT and we cannot do that without your financial support. To have a chance of this occurring in 2022, we must meet our fund-raising goal by early June.

    Our volunteer board has stepped up and agreed to match the first $35,000 in donations that we receive. Please help make us write these matching checks by donating today. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation to Kick HAB’s Butt! Please tell your friends and neighbors about this project and ask them to chip in as well.

    greg.baker@lakeannavirginia.org


  • April 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne – April 2022

    BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO TAKE UP THE SUP FOR THE FOUR SEASONS RV PARK IN THEIR MAY 10TH 2022 MEETING!

    The Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors will likely decide the fate of the Four Seasons RV Park in an upcoming meeting, currently scheduled for May 10, 2022, at 4:30 pm.  In the past day we have heard that the schedule may slip beyond this date, but at press time have not been able to confirm this information.  You will recall that the applicant is seeking a Special Use Permit (SUP) to build a large, high density commercial operation, with 300 RV sites, restaurants, an amphitheater, boat docks, activity centers, and other amenities on the Upper Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna, one of the shallowest and ecologically impaired areas on the lake.  When the BOS takes up the application, the Planning Commission will present their unanimous recommendation that the Special Use Permit, required for construction and operation of the Resort, be denied.  The applicant will have an opportunity to address any questions asked by the Supervisors and a vote will likely be taken to approve or deny the application.

    While the LACA  Board, the Land Use committee and many of you have worked hard over the past 15 months to make our elected officials aware of the negative consequences with some success at the Planning Commission level, we continue to need your support.  As we have stated many times, the Board of Supervisors is not bound by the Planning Commission’s recommendation and can vote to approve the SUP.  There continue to be several ways that you can reiterate your concerns and desire that this SUP be defeated to the Board prior to their vote on May 10th.

    This Board of Supervisors meeting is not conducted in the same manner as the Planning Commission “public hearing” which was utilized effectively to deliver concerns surrounding the SUP.  Different tactics are necessary to ensure that the Board of Supervisors understands the concerns of the community.  While the Planning Commission presentation to the Board will include information on the level of opposition this SUP encountered during their process, we feel that it is still very important that the Supervisors hear directly from those of us who make our homes at the lake. 

    Given the parliamentary procedures of the Board of supervisors, there are a few effective ways that you can provide your views to the Board.

    1. While there will not be a public comment period specifically for the Four Seasons RV Park during the meeting on May 10th, there is a public comment period at the beginning of every Board of Supervisors meeting where citizens can comment on anything of concern to them in their community. This provides an opportunity for anyone to take up to 3 minutes to make a statement on their position pertaining to the SUP.  We encourage you to take advantage of this time and to go and provide your statement before the Board.  The Board of Supervisors meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. and the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.  The next scheduled meetings are April 12th at 4:30 pm, then April 26th at 6:00 pm, and then on May 10th at 4:30, where the RV Park presentation will also occur. 

    2.  We want to ensure that each of the Supervisors gets a complete picture of the level of opposition to the RV Park and suggest that all those with an opinion email each of the Supervisors to provide your input.  It is particularly important that Supervisors who do not represent citizens from the lake area understand the issues and concerns of those of us who will have to live with their decision.  Understand that these emails are not being “entered into the record”, as they were at the Planning Commission public hearing, but will hopefully persuade each Supervisor to weigh the issues surrounding this SUP. The Supervisors and their email addresses are:

    3. We feel it is also still important to continue to demonstrate our opposition to the SUP by attending the May 10th Board of Supervisors meeting, in support of those that do choose to speak during the public comment period at the beginning of this meeting.  Plan to attend the meeting and be present for this deliberation.

    As we enter the home stretch on what has been a protracted battle, lets redouble our efforts to show opposition at the Board of Supervisors level to the Four Seasons RV Park through using each of these three mechanisms to indicate to the Board that this is a terrible idea. Let’s finish this effort! 

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org


  • April 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – April 2022

    Thank you for participating in the 2021 LACA Member Survey.  The Water Quality Committee included four questions in the survey and water quality was included as responses in questions 30 and 31.  We would like to update our members on the results and the Committee’s status on responding to the inputs and comments. 

    Question 1 dealt with how LACA communicates our water quality monitoring results.  All water quality data is posted on the LACA website under the Water Quality Committee page.  You can get to the Water Quality Committee landing page at this link: https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/Water-Quality. You can also view the plots and data maps posted for water quality and cyanobacteria monitoring at this link https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/Water-Quality-Data.  LACA also provides updates on our Water Quality Monitoring Program through regular newsletter articles, Facebook updates, and E-grams.

    The 2021 Member Survey results show that 64% of our members use the LACA website to obtain our water quality updates and 62% are also updated from our E-grams.  We received 44 comments on how our members obtain water quality information.  Many of our members receive information from the Central Virginian, their HOA newsletters, word of mouth, and through the Lake Anna Advisory Committee (LAAC).

    Question 2 dealt with identifying other means for communicating HAB data and information.  71% of survey respondents selected SMS-texting to better communicate our water quality data.  Twitter received a 5% response and Instagram received a 7% response.  There were 95 comments to this question – a fantastic response!  The primary communications means addressed in the comments was email.  Local news media coverage was also mentioned by several of our members. In response to the large number of comments requesting email notices, the Water Quality Committee will send an email to all LACA members when water quality data is updated on our website.  In addition, given the overwhelming response to SMS text messaging, our Board is researching cost-effective messaging platforms that we could use to inform those of you that opt-in to this form of messaging.  More information on this form of communication with our members will be provided as we move toward adopting a messaging platform. 

    The Water Quality Committee is also researching existing crowd-sourcing platforms designed specifically to track and monitor HABs.  One such platform is BloomWatchhosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please consider downloading and using this iOS and Android application and send us comments if you like it or if you know of other apps that we might use to keep our members informed of HAB status and LACA HAB responses in 2022.  Send your inputs to Harry Looney at harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org.

    Question 3 asked if our research, data collection and analysis efforts impact use of the lake recreational resources.  87% of those responding stated that the information provided by LACA does impact their decision-making processes.

    We are pleased that our program provides relevant, valuable information to our members but there is always room for improvement.  If you have any thoughts on how our efforts might be improved please reach out to the Water Quality Committee leads, Mike Gelber at mike.gelber@lakeannavirginia.org and Harry Looney at harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org.

    Question 4 asked if there are other water quality issues that you are concerned about.  There were 130 responses to this question. Here are a couple of the concerns that were brought to our attention.  While we are just listing a few of these concerns in this newsletter we are investigating each input to determine where LACA might be best positioned to address the concern.  E.coli monitoring was mentioned several times in the concerns.  LACA has tested for E.coli since we began water quality monitoring in 2002.  We sample all areas of the lake and several stream locations four times a year and publish those results on our Water Quality Data webpage.

    Another concern that was mentioned by several members is the status of Contrary Creek. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) listed Contrary Creek as impaired for multiple metals and low pH (acidic) in their Integrated Assessment Report in 2020.  The creek has been listed as impaired for many years due to the historic mining activities that took place in the Mineral area along the banks of the creek. LACA has spoken with DEQ on several occasions about the status of Contrary Creek and we will continue to reach out to the appropriate state authorities on what can be done to improve water quality in the creek. 

    Septic tank issues were also mentioned by several respondents.  Leaking or failed septic systems can release large amounts of nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) into the water table that eventually makes its way into the lake.  These nutrients are the primary cause for cyanobacteria growth resulting in Harmful Algae Blooms. We are reviewing our data to determine if septic systems could potentially be a contributor to the HAB issues we have been experiencing the past four years. 

    Several respondents wrote that water quality monitoring on the hot side should be adopted.  We are not sure how this misperception got started but LACA has always monitored the hot side during our regular monitoring sessions in April, June, August, and October.  We currently monitor seven stations, one at the power plant outfall, two on Elk Creek, two on Mill Pond, one on Coleman Creek, and one on Rock Creek.  Other areas of concern that LACA is investigating include, silting/sediment, fish toxin levels, leaf debris, pesticides, and non-native plant species.

    Question 30 asked our members for volunteer support of LACA’s programs and other efforts.  Twenty-three people stated that they would like to volunteer in support of LACA’s water quality programs.  The Water Quality Committee prepared a Google Form outlining each of the projects that will be executed in 2022 to learn which projects people would like to volunteer for.  The form was sent to each of the more than 35 current volunteers and the 23 people that responded to the Member Survey.  If you responded that you wanted to volunteer for the water quality programs but did not receive the form, please reach out via email to Harry Looney at harry.looney@lakeannaviriginia.org.

    Question 31 allowed respondents to provide additional comments that were not covered elsewhere in the survey.  Three of the comments were assigned to the Water Quality Committee.  The first comment stated that algae blooms should be the #1 concern right now.  We agree!  We are working with the Environmental Preservation Committee and other members of the LACA Board on a Cyanobacteria Mitigation, Remediation, and Prevention plan that we would like to execute in 2022. You will see a lot more on this effort soon via LACA E-grams, our website, and hopefully in the local news media. 

    The second comment assigned to the Water Quality Committee was from a respondent that said they would volunteer for water quality sampling if it was done on the private side.  Again, we are not sure how this misperception started but LACA has tested the private side for many years during our April, June, August, and October sampling sessions.  We will continue to sample the private side in 2022 and beyond. 

    The third comment assigned to the Water Quality Committee dealt with excess amounts of sediment being introduced into the lake and coves.  The sediment is coming from upstream locations and must be managed at the source.  LACA is investigating mitigation means and funding sources to implement the measures in our Cyanobacteria Mitigation, Remediation and Prevention plan focused on nutrient reduction from upstream sources.  These nutrient mitigation measures also impact the amount of sediment that enters the creeks and streams so it could have a positive effect on the sedimentation that is occurring in some of the coves around Lake Anna.

    Interested LACA members are welcome to volunteer in support of LACA’s Water Quality Monitoring Program.  Contact the Water Quality Project Officer at harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org if you are interested in learning more or volunteering.

    harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org


  • February 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne – February 2022

    The result of the lengthy public hearing by the Planning Commission, which finally concluded the evening of January 19th, was a 7-0 vote to recommend Denial of the SUP application required for the Four Seasons RV Park!  This positive step was taken after completing the reading into the record of the remaining written statements, the applicant’s rebuttal, and further discussion among the Commission members. 

    For a reminder of how we got to this point, you will recall that the Planning Commission Public Hearing began on November 17th but was not completed due to the number of concerned citizens who chose to speak, and the over 200 emails and letters that were sent to be read into the record during the hearing.  The Hearing was continued to December 1, and then again, based on the remaining volume of statements not able to be read at that meeting, scheduled to be continued January 5th. The January 5th meeting was postponed due to weather and rescheduled for January 19th.

    In addition to voting to recommend denial of the SUP application during the meeting on January 19th, the planning commission also added several new conditions to those the Planning Staff had already drafted.  These conditions will go forward to the Board of Supervisors as recommended conditions of implementation should the Board of Supervisors not adopt the PC recommendation to deny the application.  Conditions added during the meeting include forbidding boat rentals, reducing the number of permanent “park model RV’s” to a maximum of 15 and reducing the number of available boat slips to a maximum of 30.  In addition, the commission requests that the Board of Supervisors not hear this SUP application until a supervisor has been elected to replace the late Barry Jett, representing the Livingston district.

    The third edition of the public hearing on the 19th was attended by over 50 concerned citizens. LACA and its Board would like to thank all those from the community that wrote letters, emails and/or spoke at the public hearings, especially those that were able to attend in person over the course of the three meetings.

    As this decision moves to the Board of Supervisors, we need to continue to make our voices known to our elected officials encouraging them to deny this SUP.  Please continue to watch the LACA website and look for EGrams alerting you to the next step in this process which likely will be the presentation of the PC's recommendation to the Board of Supervisors who will then take up the matter for a vote.  The BOS is not bound by the Planning Commission recommendation and is free to vote yes or no on the future of this SUP and the Four Seasons RV Park.   It will be very important for our voices to be heard at the BOS when this occurs!

    By the time you read this article there will likely be a newly elected Supervisor for the Livingston District replacing the late Barry Jett, and this SUP Application may be on a March 2022 BOS meeting agenda.  In the meantime, remember that you can avail yourself of the public comment period, available during any and all Board of Supervisor meeting, to let the Supervisors know of your position on the RV Park.  It would also be a great idea to write or email all of the Spotsylvania County Supervisors to make your position known. You can find all the BOS contact information at https://www.spotsylvania.va.us/1200/Members.

    When the BOS sets the SUP application on their agenda, LACA will provide information on the schedule and it will be very important that a good representation from concerned citizens be present at the BOS meeting.  Please continue to watch the LACA - Land Use – Four Seasons RV Park web page, https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/page-18174 , for information on all upcoming public meetings surrounding this SUP.

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org

    LACA Land Use Committee


  • February 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Mike Rigdon – February 2022

    Homeowners within 5 impaired sub-watersheds in Lake Anna region (excluding the purple area for Spotsylvania shown in Figure 1 below) are eligible for cost-sharing help with septic issues.  E-coli bacteria in some local streams have long been identified as being higher than specified by state water quality standards.   Other pollutants are also involved: particularly nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen that fuel the growth of unwanted algae. 

    The state has funded grants under the Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program for projects focused on reducing any existing or potential impacts on local ground and surface water quality.  More recently additional funding has become available from the American Rescue Plan Act to help low-income owners repair or replace well and septic systems.  A benefit to the property owner is the assurance that their system meets state standards and is functioning properly.  It is a win-win for both water quality and property values. 

    Two of our local Soil & Water Conservation Districts have grants from DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program to address failing or non-existent septic systems.  At the state level these programs have been in place for several years. In addition to promoting residential best practices to support water quality, they include inspection and financial assistance for septic system repairs and upgrades.  Funding for septic system work is provided by the Commonwealth to implement the Upper York Watershed TMDLplan (Total Maximum Daily Load of pollutant allowed) to reduce water pollution in the Upper York River watershed.  More recently additional funding has become available from the American Rescue Plan Act to help low-income residents repair or replace well and septic systems. A benefit to the property owner is the assurance that their system meets state standards and is functioning properly.  It is a win-win for both water quality and property values. 

    Financial assistance for septic system pump outs and repairs is available in the following Orange County watersheds: Mountain Run (Gordonsville); Pamunkey Creek; Terry’s Run and Beaver Creek. This is nearly all of the section of Orange County south of Route 20 and east of US 15.  A companion program administered by the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD) is available for the Goldmine Creek watershed in Louisa County.  Please note that the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) has been at this for several years in the Lake Anna watershed with numerous completed and ongoing efforts.  TJSWCD’s effort on Goldmine Creek in the Lake Anna watershed has been underway for just one year. So far they have approved three system replacements and funded two pump outs.

    Figure 1. Color coded map of the upper Lake Anna Watershed.  Areas covered by projects administered by the CSWCD for Orange County and the TJSWCD for Louisa County are shown with impaired portions of the streams on the basis of e-coli colored red.

    Program participants are eligible for several different payment amounts depending on the needs of their system as determined by an initial inspection. Reimbursement payments are typically fifty percent for anyone but can go as high as eighty percent for individuals that qualify for low-income status.

    Payments to property owners at the 50% cost share level are $2000 maximum towards a pump out and system inspection;  $2,500 maximum towards repair; $4,000 maximum towards a conventional system or $6,000 if a pump is required to move the liquids to the drain field; and $12,000 maximum towards an alternative engineered system (maximum payments under low- income situations at the 80% cost share level are $3,200 maximum towards a pump out and full system inspection; $4000 maximum towards a repair; $6,400 maximum towards a conventional system or $9,600 if a pump is required to move the liquids to the drain field; and $19,200 maximum towards an alternative engineered system).

    mike.rigdon@lakeannavirginia.org


  • February 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Ron Skinner – February 2022

    Plans for the future New Bridge Fire & Rescue Station are moving ahead. 

    Spearheaded by Louisa County Mineral District Supervisor Duane Adams and Fire/EMS Chief Robert Dubé, the county Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of the project to include fire protection services in addition to the previous rescue/EMT building design.  The facility will now be constructed to house fire trucks along with ambulance units, bringing the plan back to the original 2016 concept for the much-needed facility.  The County supported the expanded design with an additional $600,000 budget supplement, bringing the total budget appropriation to $1.5 million for building construction and site work.

    The non-profit Foundation for Lake Anna Emergency Services has now raised $190,000 from generous donations by the Lake Anna community.  $100,000 “seed funding” was granted to Louisa County in June 2021 to jump-start project construction.  Fundraising continues targeted to help with additional costs of building equipment, supplies, personnel gear, furniture, etc. for the new station, and to supplement and replace equipment to be donated by Mineral Volunteer Fire Department and Louisa County Fire/EMS.

    A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held on December 27 at the future station site, 1856 New Bridge Road, with over 100 in attendance and an impressive display of Louisa Fire/EMS vehicles from several current stations as a backdrop.  Speakers included Adams and Dubé, plus County administrator Christian Goodwin, Foundation President Patrick Gallagher, and Vice President Jane Gallagher.  Other attendees included County supervisors Willie Gentry and Tommy Barlow, Parks/Recreation Director James Smith, Foundation Board Directors Brian Gilbreth, Mark Smith and Ron Skinner, Mineral VFD officers Lewis Keller and Lloyd Runnett, plus a large contingent of volunteers and career staff from several Louisa County Fire/EMS stations, and many local citizens and business owners from the lake area.

    The ceremony was groundbreaking in respects beyond shovels in the dirt.  New Bridge Fire & Rescue will be the first new fire station built in Louisa County in 30 years and will be the first Fire/EMS facility to be constructed and owned by the County.  It will serve an estimated 2,800 homes and businesses in the Lake Anna area of Louisa County, of which 85% are more than 5 miles from the nearest current emergency facility. 

    Construction is now scheduled to begin in the Spring, with completion expected by the end of Summer 2022.  Recent delays, driven by the COVID pandemic and its consequences, have resulted in push-back of the original construction timeline.  Unexpected issues that arose have included:  deferment of appropriations considering tax revenue concerns, bidding and securing of a qualified contractor, difficulties in procuring structural steel, price and supply of lumber. Initial engineering and soil test work have been completed and construction plans are ready to be finalized soon.

    For more background on New Bridge Fire & Rescue Station and how to donate to the Foundation for Lake Anna Emergency Services, see the “Land Use/New Bridge Rescue” tab on the LACA website (LakeAnnaVirginia.org) or go to NewBridgeRescue.com.

    ron.skinner@lakeannavirginia.org


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