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LakeAnnaLifeTimesOctoberNovember2015 14 Grassroots Effort To Bring Firehouse To Lake Anna Begins overheard IS IT FACT OR FICTION Graphic supplied by Citizes For New Bridge FireRescueMarine As part of our continuing com- mitment to bringing you the news first we caught up with Ron Skinner a long-time Lake Anna resident working with sev- eral other concerned citizens to raise community awareness of the need for a firerescuemarine station in the mid lake region. Skinner and his group were fresh off their very first public pre- sentation at the October 20 Lake Anna Business Partnerships Business LABP After Hours held at Tavern On The Rail. That presentation was given to 50 of the lakes business owners two Louisa County Supervisors and several other Louisa County of- ficials. Heres what he had to say about this grassroots effort. Who is organizing this effort and why Citizens for New Bridge Fire RescueMarine Station was formed about a year ago. We are a small group of Louisa County residents who perceived that the Lake Anna area needs more fire and rescue emergency services both on land and water. We de- cided to first research and inves- tigate to determine if that need was real and if a case could be documented and illustrated. We found that the Lake Anna Desig- nated Growth Area is under-pro- tected. This also strains the fire and rescue resources across all Louisa County. Now our purpose is to gen- erate community and business support for establishing a new fire rescue station on New Bridge Road Route 208 near the New Bridge Landing Food Lion shopping center located at the mid-point of Lake Anna and the Designated Growth Area. Benefits from a new facil- ity at this key location include 1 faster response times through- out Louisa County 2 improved life health and safety protection for residents and visitors 3 re- duced insurance premiums for homeowners and businesses 4 home base at the mid-point of Lake Anna for Louisa County marine and water rescue units and 5critical services neces- sary to support growth that has already occurred and promote healthy Lake Anna area growth in the future. Who have you spoken to at the County level to discuss this plan and what has been their reac- tion We have met so far with several Louisa County officials includ- ing Stephanie Koren Mineral District Supervisor Willie Gen- try Cuckoo District Supervisor Jack Matthews Mineral District Planning Commissioner Chief Keith Greene and Assistant Chief and Kristin Hawk Depart- ment of Fire and Emergency Services Weve also had conversations with Ann Heidig Lake Anna Ad- visory Committee Chairman and Spotsylvania County Livingston District Supervisor and C.C. McCotter Lake Anna Advisory Committee Vice-Chairman and Louisa County Citizen Repre- sentative and LABP 2015 Presi- dent. We have found their reactions have been unanimously positive and supportive of our research findings and conclusions. Bear in mind that our group has not developed a plan per se as that is really the purview of Loui- sa County officials. According to the numbers you have provided it appears that a very small percentage of the taxes generated from the lake area are being reinvested in in- frastructure - specifically fire rescue. Why do you think that is the case Overall Louisa County current- ly spends about 4 million 4 of its budget on fire rescue and emergency services. We under- stand this is primarily a result of historically volunteer operations both locally staffed and princi- pally funded by community do- nations forming a patchwork of coverage across the County. As County population has grown usage and employment patterns have changed the very dedi- cated but diminished volunteer staffs have had a tougher time responding to dramatically in- creased call volumes. Several years ago the County began supplementing with paid career staff and deeper financial sup- port gradually transitioning to more reliance on career fire and EMS staff with municipal fund- ing. However while the popu- lation of Louisa County has in- creased almost 40 in the past 15 years the last new fire station was added in 1992 23 years and rescue squad in 1998 17