LEESVILLE LAKE ASSOCIATION
February 10, 2004
MEETING OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Stan Goldsmith called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. Board members present were Stan Goldsmith, President, Sam Skillman, Vice President, Bill Wallace, Treasurer, Julia Moore, Secretary, Richard Beaton, Dennis Boley, Gerry Caprario, and Butch Shaffer. Absent were Fred Tannehill, Bill Morgan and Joe Weatherspoon.
Stan asked if there were any additions or changes to the minutes of our last meeting. It was moved and seconded that the minutes be approved. Passed.
Bill W reported that through 2/10 we had collected $13,458.80 with expenses of $8,007.01, leaving uncommitted funds of $5,451.79. We have 262 member households with a membership renewal rate of 80%.
Bill W thanked Richard for the web site update encouraging people to petition FERC and the county supervisors. On the home page of the web site is a section entitled “Be a Friend of Leesville Lake—Make Your Concerns Known”.
Richard also gave stats as to the growth of the number of user of the web site.
Richard also reported that he had no new information on maps. Bill W mentioned that along with the relicensing AEP will do a bottom contour map.
Gerry reporting on Water Safety noted that NTSB is discussing a life jacket law. The boating industry is contesting. Gerry also mentioned he has some new safety flyers for the membership.
Sam mentioned a wildlife magazine that recently had an article saying that Smith Mountain Lake was the most dangerous lake in Virginia as to deaths.
Sam began presenting a general outline of the 2005 Beautification Day
Stan began a discussion regarding the presentations that were done for the counties to encourage them to form a TLAC-like organization. Stan, Sam and Bill spoke to all three counties and felt they were well received. He thinks Bedford and Campbell are waiting to see what Pittsylvania decides to do. Pittsylvania formed a committee within their group to look at our request. Bedford is probably on hold until a new administrator is chosen.
Campbell shows some interest but are mixed. They’re willing to help us but not necessarily thinking TLAC is the best way to go. It was suggested that perhaps we identify some priorities and funding needs and go to the counties. The counties might contribute and then we would go to AEP and try to get the rest of the funding from them. Stan thinks we should give it a try.
Bill W still says we should press the counties.
Richard reminded us that all the costs will come back to the residents.
Sam asked if we get this plan together, will Campbell help bring Bedford and Pittsylvania to the table to form a TLAC group.
We will develop a plan and go back to the counties to see if they will help fund and see if AEP will help with the rest.
Gerry mentioned available grants and volunteered to request the criteria for applying for some of them.
Gerry also suggested that we develop a standard letterhead or use some samples his wife had prepared. Julie will request the samples from Gerry. He also mentioned that a contest for a logo might be possible.
Richard insists and wonders why we want to be a monkey on AEP’s back.
Bill saying Stan made tremendous progress in trying to get the counties to help and try to get enough leverage with AEP to force them to do what they should do.
Gerry asked about the status with 501-C3. Sam volunteered to call John Eller and ask what steps and costs would be next.
Stan asked Sam to get the clean up committee back together and begin planning spring clean up day and costing for proposals to present to counties. We all agreed that our priorities are 1. Debris removal and 2. Navigational safety
Dennis thanked Butch for agreeing to serve on the committee to restock the lake.
It was agreed that the clean up committee meeting at Leesville United Methodist Church would be 7:00pm, February 23.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm. The next regularly scheduled meeting is March 10, 7:00 pm.
After the follow up actions is discussion of the recent FERC scoping meetings held in Gretna regarding AEP’s relicensing. Following that is a sample letter that the membership may copy and submit to FERC. The letter covers issues of concern on Leesville Lake.
FOLLOW UP/ACTION ITEMS
Julia B. Moore, Secretary
February 24, 2005
Smith Mountain Pumped Storage Project Re-Licensing: Call for Public Comment
On January 26-27, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held meetings in Gretna, VA to hear comments and suggestions on a preliminary list of issues and alternatives to be address in an Environmental Assessment, to be done in conjunction with Appalachian Power’s application for re-licensing of its operation at both Smith Mountain and Leesville Lakes. Both the Runaway Bay Homeowners Association and the Leesville Lake Association were represented at the meeting, and have submitted comments for the record.
The comment period is open until March 1, 2005, and all interested parties including property owners in Runaway Bay are invited to participate. This is a process where numbers count. In other words, with the more comments that are received we have greater assurance that our concerns will be addressed.
We encourage you to submit comments. For your convenience, we have prepared a talking points paper in a letter format that will suffice for the submission when you add the current date, and your name, address, and phone number at the signature block. When you download the document, rename it with less than 30 characters and save it where you can browse to attach it in the filing process.
For those who want to file their comments electronically at the FERC web site, please follow these instructions step by step:
An e-mail will be sent acknowledging the filing and a second e-mail will be sent stating that it has been accepted.
February xx, 2005
Magalie R. Salas, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426
Re: Smith Mountain Hydroelectric Project No. 2210-108
Dear Ms. Salas:
I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Scoping Document 1 (SD1) and the Appalachian Power Company (Appalachian) Pre-Application Document for the Smith Mountain Hydroelectric Project. I am a Leesville Lake property owner and have a significant interest in this project and its impact on Leesville Lake. I endorse and incorporate by reference the comments submitted to the Commission on this project by the Leesville Lake Association and the Runaway Bay Homeowners Association. Below are my comments and recommendations.
Debris (trees, logs, man-made material) is a major problem on Leesville Lake. Appalachian should be required to (1) study the debris problem on Leesville Lake and (2) implement a more effective and comprehensive program to continuously remove debris from the lake.
Lake debris is both a boating hazard and an aesthetic problem. The numerous trees and logs on the lake, some of which float just below the surface, present a potentially serious safety problem for boaters, water skiers and personal watercraft.
Shoreline erosion is a significant problem on Leesville Lake. Shoreline erosion on Leesville Lake is aggravated by a 13 foot weekly water level fluctuation, which is unique to Leesville Lake and other lakes that form lower ponds in pumped storage projects. The frequency and extent of water level fluctuation causes the shoreline debris to “scour” and erode the shoreline. While Appalachian controls lands on the shoreline to the 620 elevation, there are strong visible indications that erosion is starting to eat closer and closer to that elevation. In fact, erosion could eventually cause property owners to lose land and/or structures they own. Further, the eroded soils may be forming sedimentary deposits on or near the face of the dam which could significantly impact the service-life of the project.
The Commission should require Appalachian to study the erosion issue and ways to reduce it. The Commission should also require Appalachian to study operating protocols for the Smith Mountain pumped storage project that will minimize water level fluctuation and, therefore, erosion on Leesville Lake. The results of these studies should be vetted with Leesville Lake property owners before implementation.
Public Safety Programs/Navigation Aids
The Commission should require Appalachian to study the effectiveness of the existing public safety programs (e.g., shoal markers, buoy and navigation system, etc.) in maintaining a safe recreational environment in the project area. In spite of what Appalachian says, the Commission should make navigational systems a license issue. It should require Appalachian to repair or replace the existing system of day mileage markers and also establish and maintain a complete system of both day and night navigation aids on Leesville Lake.
Operation of the pumped storage project has a very definite potential impact on public safety. Leesville Lake currently has no floating or fixed navigational hazard warnings in place. Boundaries of the main channel (the old Roanoke River channel) are unmarked. At low water, the upper reaches of the lake are treacherous with water depths ranging from 25 feet to less than 2 feet in a mere 10-20 feet of distance traveled. Without channel marking, groundings are frequent. At high water, low-lying islands in the upper reaches of the lake are nearly submerged. While barely visible in the daylight, without markings they would be almost impossible to detect at night. Similarly, there are rocks and shoals that are barely covered at high water making them treacherous to boaters in both day and night conditions. The Toler’s Ferry Bridge across the lake at VA Route 608 has no support lighting.
Leesville Lake was cited as “impaired” in a Virginia DEQ 2004 water quality study where fecal coliform bacteria were found in a major tributary. Yet, water quality monitoring points on the lake are minimal in number. Development on Leesville Lake is significantly increasing. Additional water quality monitoring is needed on Leesville Lake.
Water quantity is also an important issue for Leesville Lake, not only as it relates to aggravating erosion on the lake, but also with respect to insuring valid water demands in the Roanoke River Basin are satisfied. Ensuring adequate water quantity in both lakes while maintaining power generation capabilities during drought conditions, as well as flood control measures should be studied.