Newsletter articles

  • 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


  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne – December 2021

    The Land Use Committee is charged with continually understanding new and proposed developments at the Lake, keeping our membership apprised of what is happening around the Lake. In the next few months, we will provide the latest information on developments occurring on or near the lake in Spotsylvania and Louisa Counties. For this month however, we wanted to provide an update on the status of the Special Use Permit for Four Seasons RV Park.

    As I hope you are already aware, the largest and most controversial proposed development on the Spotsylvania County side of the lake is the Four Seasons RV Park. The current proposal has the developer seeking a Special Use Permit (SUP) under the existing Resort-Agricultural zoning of this combined 135-acre tract located in the northeast corner of the lake on Pamunkey Creek. The proposal includes 300 RV Sites, 90 of which may be permanent “Park Model RV’s”, a restaurant, lounge, pools, gyms, an amphitheater, a marina with 49 slips and bait shop, and many other amenities. LACA polled its membership early in 2021 and determined that over 90% of our responding membership are opposed to this development on Pamunkey Creek. Based on this data, LACA has continued to be in active opposition to this development, the first time in our history we have done so. Your LACA representatives and many other concerned citizens have met with County Planning Commission staff and members, County Supervisors, and other officials voicing our concerns and opposition.

    On November 17th, a public hearing was held by the Planning Commission where over 200 of your neighbors were in attendance. The Public Comment period was led off by our President Greg Baker, who provided the top four reasons why the SUP for the RV Park should not be approved. Greg was followed by 48 other concerned citizens, who for two- and one-half hours provided reason after reason why the Four Seasons RV Park will be significantly detrimental to the Upper Pamunkey Branch, the citizens who make up the communities in that area, and Lake Anna as a whole. Next, statements that had been sent to the Planning Commission by over 250 concerned citizens began to be read into the record of the hearing. This continued until approximately 12:30 AM when the reading was suspended until the next Planning Commission Meeting, scheduled for December 1, 2021.

    On December 1st the Planning Commission met to resume reading of the statements sent by concerned citizens. As there remained many statements to be read, an agreement was reached early in this meeting that, if necessary, reading would conclude at 10:00 pm, and commence again with any remaining statements to be read at the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for January 5, 2022. Reading continued until close to 10:00 at which time two individuals who had requested to make in person statements were heard, and with no other business to be conducted, the meeting was adjourned.

    We will want to continue to pressure our elected officials to deny this SUP. By the time you read this article the Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for December will have occurred and while they will not be considering this development at that meeting, I hope that some from the community will have taken advantage of the public comment period, available during every Board of Supervisor meeting, to let the Supervisors know the depth of the public opposition to this RV Park. It will be important that a good representation from the concerned citizens be present at all meetings until this SUP is defeated.

    Please plan to attend the next Planning Commission meeting on the 5th of January. Continued Statement reading should take about an hour or so, and then the Commission will hear a rebuttal from the Developer, followed by questions from the Commission. A vote at the Planning Commission level is likely at this meeting. There are currently no updates on the calendar for the Supervisors meetings for 2022. Normally they meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month and presuming a Planning Commission vote in their January 5th meeting, the earliest the Board of Supervisors could act on this decision is their first meeting in February. If this occurs, we will want to have a large contingent of folks there to make statements in opposition to this SUP. Please continue to watch the LACA - Land Use – Four Seasons RV Park web page, https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/page-18174 , for information on opportunities to continue to indicate the community’s opposition to this development on Lake Anna.

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org


  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Al Bennett – December 2021

    This article is a reprint of an article that was first published in October 2018.  It is a seasonal reminder that blowing leaves into the Lake is not a good practice.  As homeowners, it is difficult for us to control the amount of nutrients that enter our lake from upstream sources; however, as residents we can control what enters the lake from our respective properties.

    Blowing leaves into the lake is not recommended.  Although not illegal, it is a form of littering that is discourteous to neighbors and it is harmful to the lake’s ecosystem.

    Leaves blown into the lake rarely settle at the shoreline of origin.  They are carried by wind and current to other locations before they reach bottom.  In coves, it is usually the few lots at the back of the cove that receive the leaf debris.  They are unsightly and over time, sedimentation buildup will cause these owners to lose water depth and will leave them with a squishy bottom.

    Decaying leaves release nutrients, primarily carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.  These nutrients are great for soil but excess nutrients are a pollutant to lakes like ours.  These nutrients, especially phosphorous, are a fertilizer for hydrilla and algae, promoting their growth.  As hydrilla growth spreads, herbicides and/or carp are then needed to control its growth.

    Similarly, excessive nutrient levels can contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels by causing abundant growths of phytoplankton (microscopic plants and algae) called blooms.  Living phytoplankton may deplete oxygen levels during the night and as the phytoplankton die; decomposition of the organic material by bacteria consumes oxygen.

    Let’s all be good neighbors and good stewards of our lake’s ecosystem by not blowing leaves into the lake.  Instead, please consider collecting and finely mulching your leaves and then spreading them across your yard so that their nutrients can be returned to your soil.

    alan.bennett@lakeannavirginia.org


  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi – December 2021

    I hope everyone found the health article in the September newsletter helpful.  To continue in my series of articles pertaining to living a healthy lifestyle in the lake environment, I would like to address a topic that may affect you more than you realize.  We recently returned to Eastern Standard Time after enjoying longer hours of daylight during Daylight Savings Time. 

    Seeing the sunset during the summer after 8:00 PM offered us time to spend outdoors in the evening, perhaps going for a long walk or playing with the family in the yard after dinner.  Or maybe you took out the boat or pontoon and raced to the western shores to enjoy watching the sun go down below the horizon and watching the show Mother Nature has to offer.  But then comes the late fall and time to turn those clocks back, which greatly shortens the amount of daylight come around 5:00 PM.  Did you ever think this doesn’t affect you?  Let’s take a look.

    Many of us have different thoughts about turning the clock back.  Some who work and live very busy lives are happy for the extra hour of sleep.  On the other hand, many are dreading the darkness that comes late afternoon.  But those who are not doing well making the adjustment may be suffering from what experts from the National Institute of Mental Health call “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD).  It usually affects people, as imagined, in the fall and winter when daylight is shortened, and disappears in the spring and summer. 

    People who live in normal areas of shortened daylight as well as those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorders, young adults, and females are mostly affected.  Experts believe the lack of light may interfere with the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms.  They may also overproduce melatonin, a naturally occurring chemical that aids sleep.  Other nervous system components may be affected.
    Some signs, symptoms and most at risk groups follow: 

    • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
    • Decrease in energy and ability to concentrate
    • Increased appetite and weight gain
    • Irritability, moodiness and sleepiness
    • Social withdrawal

    A thorough physical exam, which includes a mental assessment, helps to confirm a diagnosis.  Treatment, as well as prevention, includes medication (antidepressants), light therapy, which mimics natural outdoor light, psychotherapy and supplemental Vitamin D, which remains controversial.  Recommended is opening blinds and shades, trimming branches or shrubs that may be blocking sunlight from entering the home, and exercise, which can help elevate mood and relieve stress.

    Another situation to consider that may adversely affect health and well-being, especially in older adults, infants and young children,is hypothermia, defined as a decrease in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold.  Other causes include diabetes and thyroid disorders, severe trauma, and alcohol and drug use.  Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees F.  In hypothermia, the body temperature falls below 95 degrees.  About 90% of body heat is lost through the skin and the rest through exhalation.  As the body temperature decreases, shivering occurs to produce heat.  The effect is lower heart rate, slower breathing, which may lead to shock, cardiac arrest and death.  Categories of hypothermia include:

    Mild hypothermia - Temperature 90-95 degrees F, severe shivering, slurred speech and amnesia.
    Moderate hypothermia - Temperature 82-90 degrees F, unresponsiveness, confusion, rigid muscles, bluing of skin (cyanosis) and shock
    Severe hypothermia - Temperature below 82 degrees F, loss of reflexes, dilated pupils, inability to feel a pulse and no audible heart sounds.

    Treatment includes CPR in the absence of breathing or pulse, moving the person to a warm, indoor area, removal of wet clothing if indicated, followed by applying layers of blankets or coats.  The head should be covered except for the face.  If the person is alert, provide warm, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages.  Do not apply warm compresses as this would increase the heart rate and circulate the cold blood through the heart, lungs and brain, which may cause a decrease in core body temperature which could be fatal.  If advanced medical treatment is available, warm intravenous fluids may be administered.
    Prevention should be discussed with family and especially people who work or exercise outdoors.  They include:

    • Wear warm, windproof and waterproof layers of clothing.
    • Wear mittens instead of gloves so fingers can touch each other for warmth
    • Wear waterproof footwear with woolen socks placed over cotton socks
    • Wear a scarf or hat that covers the ears
    • Avoid alcohol or smoking
    • Avoid prolonged exposure to the cold.

    I hope this article helps to guide you through the winter months ahead of us and keeps you safe.  My next article will include tips for dealing with the dreaded snow that may or may not affect our area and the related activities that the snow brings.

    sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org


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