Loach, Baker Get CCA Good Neighbor Awards; Mallek pushes for VDOT Herbicide Opt-Out for Property Pwners

Tim Tolson and Tom Loach

Model citizens Tom Loach, currently the planning commissioner for the White Hall District, and Scott Baker, the president of Greenwood Baseball, the upper division of Crozet’s Peachtree League, were awarded the Crozet Community Association’s Good Neighbor Award at the CCA’s Sept. 13 meeting at The Field School auditorium.

The award recognizes distinctive service to the community, and Loach and Baker were originally slated to receive theirs before the crowd expected to be on hand at the windstorm-canceled Independence Day celebration.

Loach’s citation read:

“In recognition and thanks for decades of frontline leadership, winning advocacy and transformative service to the community of Crozet as planning commissioner, volunteer fireman and Crozet Community Association President, and for his farsighted contributions in our master planning history.”

Baker’s citation read:

“In appreciation for his setting the highest example of sportsmanship, citizenship and honor as president of Greenwood baseball and for his pivotal contribution to securing the future of the league.”

Scott Baker and Tim Tolson

In other business, White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek reported that the Virginia Department of Transportation’s herbicidal spraying program will now allow property owners along roads in Albemarle to opt out of being sprayed.

Mallek said the spraying had come to her attention after Sugar Hollow resident Bob Gilges followed a spray truck down Sugar Hollow Road one day in the summer and was appalled to see the clouds of mysterious spray emanating from it.

The truck was broadcasting Krenite, Mallek said, an herbicide that VDOT has resorted to because it says it cannot afford roadside mowing operations. She said some 25 roads in the county were sprayed this summer.

“The contractors did not know what they were doing. Krenite is not supposed to be used near water or pastures,” she said. Mallek said Shirley Cogan, a resident along the road, which closely parallels the Moormans River, was actually hit with the spray. Gilges followed the truck until he was able to talk to the driver, she said.

“I am absolutely on the warpath about this,” said Mallek. She learned that Highland County has arranged an opt-out procedure and VDOT told her it will honor the same protocol in Albemarle.

Bill Schrader, chair of the Build Crozet Library fundraising group, asked citizens to provide him with contact information on donors who may be able to make big contributions. He said the committee has proposals before philanthropic organizations in Charlottesville, Richmond, Boston and Arkansas, and “a state corporation” is considering making a donation. Schrader said the Crozet Library service area is three-quarters of the size of the state of Rhode Island and that studies on libraries’ commercial impacts suggest that the new library will boost business traffic in downtown by 42 percent.

He said Krista Weih, who organized the Cookie Countdown, the library’s annual summer reading wrap-up event at Crozet Elementary in August, has agreed to coordinate local events in the fundraising drive.

The fund has so far raised $248,000 towards its $1.6 million goal.

Kelly Strickland of the Claudius Crozet Park board said the park will hold a tennis tournament Oct. 21 and that about half the money needed to install two courts has been raised. He said the park hopes to be able to build the courts next spring.

CCA Treasurer Emery Taylor reported that the association has $422 in the bank.