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January-March, 2019 Edition
Brrrr...winter has arrived and while the water is chilly, the Leesville Lake communities are warm and and inviting. As the winter morning mists clear, banks of our lake are ever beautiful.

The brand new quarterly digital Emagazine,"Living the Dream at Leesville Lake" is published by the Leesville Lake Association and offers an update of current events, activities and lifestyle at Leesville Lake. 

Leesville Lake Members can expect to find the latest edition in their Email in-boxes at the beginning of each quarter: January-March; April-June; July-September; and October-December.

Inside This Issue:

  • A Message from Dave Rives, LLA President: "A New Vision for A New Year"
  • 2019 Leesville Lake Calendar of Events
  • LLA Treasurer's Report from Mary Loiselle
  • Consider Becoming the New LLA Membership Committee Chair
  • Water Quality Committee Report from Chair, Tony Capuco
  • Debris Committee Report from Co-Chairs, Jim and Randy Weiss
  • Navigation Commitee Report from Chair, Joe Humphrey
  • Safety Committee Report from Chair, Gerry Caprario
  • Beautification Day Committee Report from Chair, Dannie Smith
  • Complete List of 2018-19 LLA Board of Directors & Chairs
  • What does the Leesville Lake Association Do? How You Can Become a Member 
  • Resident Testimonials About Living on Leesville Lake
  • Winning Photo for This Issue of "Living the Dream" at Leesville Lake
  • A Note From the LLA EMagazine Editor, Randy Weiss: "Why Leesville Lake?"                                                                      
This EMagazine is brought to you by:
The Leesville Lake Association
P.O. Box 68, Altavista, VA 24517

Photo: Leesville Lake is a precious gem and its maintenance is a top priority to the Leesville Lake Association. Fishermen suddenly appear as the early morning mist clears.

A Message from Dave Rives, LLA President: "A New Vision for A New Year"

Hello, Leesville Lake Association members. I'm Dave Rives, and your newly elected President of the association. I want to thank the board for their vote of confidence in this honor and I look forward to doing my best to advance the cause of the LLA.

I also want to thank former LLA President, Sherwood Zimmerman for his years of service to the LLA.  Great job!

I have two areas of focus for 2018-2019 which entail increasing our membership and better defining our working relationship with AEP (Appalachian Electric Power). The LLA Board has indicated their support of these areas and we’ll need everyone’s help to accomplish both. 

Here is a little about me. My wife Pam and I live in Heron Landing on the main channel.  We are from Chesterfield County and learned about the lake via a sales brochure for Eagle Pointe Shores around 2007. One trip to see the lake and I was hooked (please pardon the pun). We bought our lot in 2008, built our home in 2010 and retired to the area full-time in 2016. 

I worked for Dominion Energy for 35 years, 33 years in the power generation field including 10 years as an executive in that business unit. That history gives me a good knowledge of utility operations, pump storage generation, and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) licensing. I believe this background will be beneficial as we continue to work with AEP to maintain and implement improvements on this lake we all love. 

Since retiring I’ve been focusing on volunteer work with wounded veterans and active military as the Vice-Chair of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing; and in the area of disaster services as a Board member and volunteer with the American Red Cross.  More importantly, Pam and I have been blessed with five grandchildren who all love to come to Grana & Papa’s lake house.

I want to reach out to you, our lake community and request your help. We all have gifts and talents to share and this organization cannot function without volunteers. If you have an interest on serving on any of our committees or have your own idea as to how you can contribute to our Association, please contact me. I look forward to meeting you all.

Dave Rives

Photo: Papa and grandson on the lake-one of life's great joys

2019-20 Leesville Lake Calendar of Events

Mark your calendar for a year full of activiies. Here are the upcoming 2019 LLA events.

Board Meetings:

The LLA Board Meetings are open to all LLA members.

February 14: Leesville Lake marina 6:30 PM *
March 14:  Leesville Lake Marina 6:30 PM
May 9:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM 
June 13:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM
August 8:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM
Sept 12:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM
Nov 14:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM
Dec 12:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

                      Membership Meetings: 

The LLA invites the entire LLA membership to attend these meetings where speakers will present information that is relevant and engaging to our entire membership.                     Jan 12:  Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM *
Apr 13:  Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM

July 13:  Annual Meeting/Picnic at the Leesville Lake Marina                                                Oct 12:  Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM                                                                                           Beautification Day-June 8 (please save the date)                                                * Leesville Lake Marina - 2736 Marina Drive, Gretna, 24557 * 434.324.8500 
* Staunton River Library - 500 Washington St, Altavista, 24517 * 434.369.5140
* Altavista Train Station - Washington St, 24517                                                   (Adjacent parking with the Staunton River Library)

Photo: A new year and a new calendar full of delightful Leesville Lake gatherings


LLA Treasurer's Report from Mary Loiselle

The fiscal year for the Leesville Lake Association began September 1, 2018. Invoices for 2018-2019 dues were mailed in mid-July and the response has been awesome.

Those who mailed a check or paid online through our website.  At the time of the deadline for this article, over 220 people had responded with payments for dues and optional donations.  Anyone who paid their dues after June 1, 2018 was credited with payment for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Thanks to all who updated addresses, family member changes, email addresses and general status. We have several new members and many, many people of long standing membership status. I’m trying to keep up with all of the membership data but we still need a membership committee chairperson (hint, hint!).
Dues have remained at the same low, low rate of $25 and allow the association to keep up with the costs of a variety of ways that effect our membership such as Beautification and Water Quality.
 The deadline for membership renewal and dues payment was August 31, but we continue to accept payments, with no penalty. 

Please see more below about becoming a member of the Leesville Lake Association in the "Becoming A Member" section of this EMagazine.

Mary Loiselle 


Photo: Mary definitely knows how to "live the dream at Leesville Lake"

Consider Becoming the New LLA Membership Committee Chair

Leesville Lake Association Membership Committee Description

Currently, the LLA maintains a list of about 300 members which represents only a portion of Leesville Lake property owners.
Goal: Increase and maintain membership within the following factions:

  • Full-Time Residents on Leesville Lake
  • Part-Time Residents on Leesville Lake
  • Owners of Undeveloped Property on Leesville Lake
  • Non-Resident Recreational Users of Leesville Lake
  • Local and Out-of-Town Realtors
  • Community Leaders/Associations/Businesses

Create: An Annual Campaign to increase and maintain LLA Membership
A flyer/sell-piece, incentives, membership drives, etc.

Maintain: An Accurate Membership List and an expanded Email/mailing list in Conjunction with the LLA Treasurer, EMagazine Editor and Communications Committee Chair

Mailing Sources: USPS (Post-Card Mailing) * LLA Website * LLA Quarterly EMagazine

Committee Chair: Coordinates all the above with the support of the entire Board of Directors and an enthusiastic committee* 

* Committee Members are standing by ready to work with the new Membership Chair

Please contact President, Dave Rives for more information

Photo: Working with great people for a great purpose is a rewarding and fullfilling experience

Water Quality Committee Report from Chair, Tony Capuco

This season the Water Quality Committee expanded its water monitoring efforts to include, not only Leesville Lake (LVL), but also the Pigg River.

In contrast to last year, we have not been presented with any surprises regarding LVL’s water quality.  All samples taken have indicated that our lake is healthy and contains nutrient levels that are consistent with a maturing lake.  However, the Pigg River has provided an increasing load of bacteria over recent years.  Although this is not currently impacting the health of our lake beyond a short distance from the mouth of the Pigg River, it has spurred us to increase our monitoring and advocacy efforts. 

This is particularly important in lieu of the planned construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline that will cross (drill under) the Pigg River.  We submitted a letter to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality expressing our concerns about the potential danger the pipeline presents to our lake, largely due to the likelihood of sediment runoff.  Although Virginia officials had been considering revoking permits for the pipeline construction, they opted to allow construction to proceed, but with stricter sediment control measures.  The effectiveness of these measures and environmental impact of pipeline construction and use remains to be seen.

Our efforts on the Pigg River watershed include monitoring at 12 sites along the Pigg River and tributaries - spanning a distance from LVL to Rocky Mount (S. Main St.).  We collected samples once per month from June-September, and although we are still analyzing the data, our findings offer unique insights into the state of the watershed. 

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quaility (VDEQ) concluded that water quality in the Pigg River was improving.  However, that was based upon limited sampling and did not include data after demolition of the Pigg River dam.  Rather than improving, our data suggest that the situation is worsening.  Furthermore, we conclude that, although pasture runoff is a major concern in the watershed, a primary factor impairing the river appears to be the concentrated runoff from Rocky Mount urban centers and its waste water treatment plant (WWTP).  Although VDEQ has continued limited monitoring, they have failed to identify these issues.

Over the years, Appalachian Power Company has funded our monitoring efforts on LVL, and our recent activities on the Pigg River have been possible due to increased financial support for these activities.  We are currently petitioning Appalachian Power Company for increased funding next season to continue and expand our efforts on the Pigg River watershed. 

Of particular importance is identifying the nature of the bacterial contamination.  By analyzing water samples for the presence of molecular markers for bacteria that are characteristic of gut bacteria present in different animals, it is possible to determine if the bacteria are derived from human, agricultural or wildlife waste, or alternatively if the increased in bacteria is supported by the decay of vegetation in the river sediment (which may now be more evident after demolition of the Pigg River dam). 

With this knowledge, we can work with state agencies and lawmakers to develop targeted strategies to improve the quality of water in the Pigg River and LVL.  It remains to be seen if the Power Company will support these additional efforts on the Pigg River.  Maintaining a healthy lake and decreasing sedimentation of the lake benefits those who use the lake as well as the power company. 

An annual report of our water monitoring efforts on LVL and the Pigg River will be prepared and presented to Appalachian Power and the Tri-County Lake Association in February.  The annual report will be posted on our Association’s website:

Tony Capuco

Photo: Tony Capuco diligently takes monthly water samples to test the quality of Leesville Lake

Debris Committee Report from Co-Chairs, Jim and Randy Weiss

In 2017, the Leesville Lake Debris Committee was formed on behalf of the Leesville Lake Association. Our committee consists of Jim and Randy Weiss (Co-Chairs); Frank and Barb Podrebarac; Jim and Wanda Riccione, and Gary and Pam Mcmillan.    

We are a very dedicated, hard-working committee. Our purpose is to address debris on Leesville Lake, including AEP's ongoing participation in keeping the lake clear of debris that potentially poses a safety hazard for public use, and the overall aesthetics and enjoyment of our beautiful lake.

We are delighted to report that we have established a successful working relationship with AEP.

  • Members of our committee have been invited to accompany the AEP crew on monthly inspections of Leesville Lake, and our committee has been asked to recommend where the crew will work the next month.
  • AEP has increased their crew’s time to 4 days/week devoted to Leesville Lake and added an independent contractor to work 3-4 days/week as well.
  • AEP has stated that plan to continue with the Debris work on Leesville Lake through the end of the year instead of stopping in October as in previous years.
  • A 2019 Work Schedule/Plan is currently in progress of being created

It is important to note that our Committee’s work on Leesville Lake in and will continue to be a work-in-progress and we need the assistance of all residents of Leesville Lake as well as recreational users of the lake.

It is more important than ever to report lake debris sightings.

We strongly request that all residents and boaters of Leesville Lake to Email complaints and STILL-photos regarding lake debris to both of these on-line addresses:

* (TLAC-Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission)     and                           (LLA Debris Committee)                           
  • Your address, phone number and/or Email (if Email, include a statement as follows: “I give TLAC/AEP permission to contact me by Email”). This information is critical because AEP historically has, and should respond to you regarding your complaint, so we wish to assure that they have your correct contact information.
  • Mile Marker Number of debris locale or a landmark or address that would describe the area. 
  • Still-photos are only accepted (Do not send videos or other formats)
  • Please send only one complaint per specific incident, per family

Your participation is greatly needed and we urge you to alert our committee and TLAC every time you recognize unsightly debris in your locale.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, (other than photos/complaints which should be sent to the g-mail address above), please contact us.

                                    Jim and Randy Weiss
                     Leesville Lake Debris Committee Co-Chairs
                on Behalf of the Leesville Lake Association DebrisCommittee

Photo: Any and every lake has its share of debris, but at Leesville Lake, we are actively dedicated to minimizing debris all year round.

Navigation Committee Report from Chair, Joe Humphrey

Progress...following much effort on the part of  many individuals over the last 2-3 years, the Association has received the necessary approvals from TLAC and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for placement of three Shoal-Hazard Area markers.

The locations of these initial markers are all on the Pittsylvania County side of the lake as follows:

  • Shoal across from the northern point of land of Heron Landing
  • Point across from the north end of Goat Island (southern point of Heron Landing)
  • Old Woman’s Shoal adjacent to Leesville Lake Marina. 

These new hazard markers will be a trial installation considering the challenges of the water level fluctuations and the considerable debris we are all too familiar with.  Once installed, the markers will be monitored for their effectiveness and to evaluate how well they hold up against the water level changes and debris.  Going forward we will consider any necessary modifications.  We are now contacting interested parties for the procurement, assembly and installation of these initial three markers. 

After this first phase has been completed, the Navigation Committee will pursue obtaining approval for a second set of hazard markers. There are approximately 12 hazard locations which have previously been identified as needing markers to alert mariners of potential dangers.

For all of us using Leesville Lake we recognize that floating debris remains the most significant safety hazard. Many of us have personal stories of finding ourselves or others running our boats onto shoals at low water levels or trying to avoid rocky points and, in particular the very large boulder near mile marker nine.
These new markers significantly contribute to our on-going effort to maintain water safety. The Navigation Committee will continue its research and implementation of marking all potential hazards for the continued safety of all those enjoying our beautiful lake.

If anyone is interested in assisting with the efforts to make our lake a safer place to play and would like to join our Navigation Committee, please contact me or the Leesville Lake Association.  We’d be pleased to have your help.

Joe Humphrey

Photo: Joe and the LLA Navigation Committee secures recreational safety for all at Leesville Lake

Safety Committee Report from Chair, Gerry Caprario

  The Small Boat Tool Kit 

What tools do you have on board?  What tools should you have on board?

Necessary, is a waterproof toolbox that is shallow and wide so that you can see most everything when open. In there should be the all necessary duct tape and electrical tape in a Ziploc bag.

Add in an adjustable wrench and adjustable pliers.  Don’t forget the needle nose and cutting pliers right there next to the pocket knife. Just for fun, include a Philips and a flat screwdriver.

Go ahead, throw in some rags for dirty hands and spills, and some bandages for skinned knuckles. Feeling good now?  Sorry, you’re not finished. Plop in a circuit tester and a clip-on trouble light with 3 feet, or longer, leads.  Oops, forgot a set of Allen wrenches.

The smart captain would have some spare fuses and light bulbs (of the proper sizes).

Seems a bit heavy?  Don’t worry, it won’t cause the boat to tip. This is all just a basic list. Be sure to add what you think you might need. Here’s hoping that you won’t need any of it.

                                   Gerry Caprario

Photo: Dapper Gerry Caprario gives great advice-especially if you don't want to end up like Gilligan 

LLA Beautification Day Committee Report from Chair, Dannie Smith


Mark your calendars for June 8, 2019 for our 16th Annual Beautification Day. We invite all LLA members and residents to lend a hand in this annual clean-up day where we join forces with AEP to remove debris from our properties. 

We especially need folks who will pilot boats or who will help on a boat to pick up and haul debris to one of four collection sites. Tarps are available for those who need one to protect their boat.

We also need people to work at our collection sites to help offload boats and fill the dumpsters.  Even those willing to lend moral support and cheer the workers on are appreciated.

Want to work from home? Clean your own shore by piling debris in a place that is accessible for one of boats to pick it up.

Last year we had four collection sites: Leesville lake Marina, Tri-County Marina, Runaway Bay, and Broomfield. We filled 8 dumpsters, which was about 40 tons of debris.

Bob Rankin, an artist who lives on the Lake, has designed a volunteer appreciation T-shirts for Beautification Day participants for many years.

At the end of the day or throughout the day, many lake neighborhoods host potluck meals for the workers. In short, this is a day to take pride in our lake communities and work together for a significantly worthy cause.

As Beautification Day gets closer, watch for more details via this EMagazine and our LLA website, Remember, more “hands on the net” will make for easier work and more fun. 
Photo: On Beautification Day, Dannie leads the residents/LLA members team as they work together to keep Leesville Lake clean, safe and beautiful  

Complete List of 2018-19 LLA Board of Directors & Committee Chairs


David Rives-President & Chair-Executive Committee, TLAC Rep * 804.921.2621  

Tracy Pauley-Vice-President, Nominating Chair/Director * 434.509.5401

Phyllis Garlick-Secretary/Director * 434.369.6930

Mary Loiselle-Treasurer/Director * 434.324.6125

Tony Capuco-Water Quality Chair/Director * 240.995.8931

Jim Weiss - Debris Co-Chair/Director * 434.309.9985

Frank Podrebarac - Communication Chair/Director * 434.324.7690  

Gerry Caprario - Water, Safety & Education Chair/Director * 434.656.9082 

Dannie Smith - Beautification Day Chair/Director * 434.841.9313

JW Burton - Director * 434.369.6523

Richard Beaton - Director * 434.656.3302

Chip Zimmerman - Director * 559.970.2479

Joe Humphrey - Navigation Chair

Randy Weiss - Debris Co-Chair

Sherwood Zimmerman - Property Chair 

Ready-to-be-Filled - Membership Chair

Photo: It truly takes a village to create excellence

What Does the Leesville Lake Association Do? How You Can Become a Member


The Leesville Lake Association (LLA) is dedicated to making Leesville Lake the best it can be throughout the year. All lakes have particular and specific issues that need to be addressed with care and competence and our Association is up to the task.
The Leesville Lake Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that was formed in August 2003 to promote stewardship of Leesville Lake by:
  • Monitoring and protecting water quality 
  • Assisting clean-up of waters and shorelines
  • Assisting in safe recreational use such as creating and maintaining mile markers and navigational aids, including a detailed map of the lake 
  • Assisting in economic development 
  • Fostering optimum water levels.
Additionally, the LLA board members and committee chairs maintain consistent, on-going relationships with essential agencies such as TLAC (Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission) and AEP (Appalachian Electric Power).  These relationships are critical in protecting the safety and overall high quality of Leesville Lake as well as the property and lifestyle investment(s) of the Leesville Lake residents. Board members and committee chairs and their teams are all volunteers who need the support of a solid membership backing their efforts. Please consider yourself as part of the team and become a LLA member

Annual membership dues are $25 and they are tax deductible.

Here are your payment options:
  • Mail a check for $25 to:
    The Leesville Lake Association P.O. Box 68, Altavista, VA  24517
  • Pay online with a credit card via the link on our website at 
The Leesville Lake Association encourages  recreational users of the lake as well as community members to support the work of our association along with lake residents. If you are already a member, the LLA thanks you. If you are not yet a member, please join today.

Photo: Whether rain, snow, sleet or sun, Leesville Lake provides a worthy portrait

Resident Testimonials About Living on Leesville Lake


"People on the lake are extremely friendly, often willing to help each other when needed and can be relied on for sharing what works or doesn't when dealing with the lake and/ or property maintenance.  It's nice to live around people like these."  - Dick Grabowski, Runaway Bay

"To top the small hill and see our home set against a backdrop of sparkling water, and the wooded hill beyond, never fails to instill a moment of thanks. We are so grateful to live in such a wonderful place, where we can marvel over how each sunrise and sunset brings a different kind of beauty, with wondrous results regardless of weather -- fog, wind, rain, or snow. We are also lucky to share the lake and land with so many different animals . . .deer, muskrat, beaver, otters, raccoons, possums, turkeys, bobcats, black bear, ducks, geese, squirrels, snakes, eagles, osprey, and others. Whether enjoying the water while fishing from the dock, or taking in the views during an evening cruise, the ever-changing lake never ceases to amaze and delight. We are blessed by the peaceful beauty around us every day, and love calling Leesville Lake home." Pam and Larry Mitchell, Runaway Bay

Photo: Residents are proud and delighted to live on Leesville Lake-here is an aerial view of just one beautiful neighborhood (Runaway Bay). Photo courtesy of Tony Capuco who took this picture while conducting an aerial survey of the Pigg River.

A Note from the LLA EMagazine Editor, Randy Weiss: "Why Leesville Lake?"


Why Leesville Lake? The answer is simple and eloquent: Serene, Friendly, Intelligent, Clean, Beautiful, and so much more. 

My husband Jim and I built our home in 2010 but moved in full-time (from Charlottesville) in 2016. Living on water has restorative powers that we never take for granted. But living specifically on Leesville Lake also provides a restorative quality that we didn't expect-kind people who take on the role of being "neighbors" seriously. 

Last winter we had an exceptionally large snowstorm. Jim was away on business and I was home with the dogs. Our neighbors, Larry Mitchell and Tony Capuco asked if they could plow our driveway. "Of course," I said with true delight and gratitude, "but come for breakfast first." And they did. Not only did they help me out, but went on to clear the driveway of another neighbor who would be arriving from a trip that very night, making it easy to just roll right into their garage. 
I have so many more examples of these acts of kindness that are not "random" but purposeful here at Leesville Lake.

My main objective as editor of this new digital EMagazine is that it be a conduit of relevant and pertinent news for members and also to showcase the unique, beautiful lifestyle of living the dream on Leesville Lake.

I am requesting your thoughts and ideas on how you and other readers can contribute to this publication be it stories of how ones' neighbors have brought joy into your life; upcoming community/neighborhood events that you'd like advertised; a favorite recipe; a special photo that tells a story, and/or testimonials about what you love about Leesville Lake, etc. 

This EMagazine is all about you, me, and everybody who is a member of the Leesville Lake Association whether they live on the lake full/part-time, or come on the weekends from neighboring communities to fish, boat, or swim. I so look forward to hearing from you.

  Photo: Dear friends and neighbors enjoy a hearty meal before snow-plowing a very grateful neighbor's driveway

Your April-June, 2019 Issue of "Living the Dream at Leesville Lake" will be Sent in Early April

Our April-June 2019 issue will include:
Information about lifestyle, current events, resident members, board member and many more features regarding our beautiful lake...stay tuned.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *  

Thanks so much for being part of our Leesville Lake Community-The Leesville Lake Association

Photo: Leesville Lake's resident heron spends some quality time on a dock

Copyright © 2019 Leesville Lake Association, All rights reserved.

Leesville Lake Association Quarterly E-Magazine
"Living the Dream at Leesville Lake"
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Leesville Lake Association · PO Box 68 · Altavista, VA 24517-0068 · USA