Friday, May 22, 2009

Letter from Cluster Presidents -- RELAC Update

May 1, 2009

To: Our Fellow Reston Lake Anne Area Cluster and Condo Assn. Residents

From: Ad Hoc Committee of Lake Anne Area Cluster and Condo Association Representatives*

Re. RELAC this season and beyond; an initial update

This brief letter is intended to bring you up to date, as we know it, as to developments regarding the continued operation of the Reston Lake Anne air conditioning system now owned by Aqua Va.

Earlier this year officials of Aqua Va. invited representatives of each of the eight cluster and condo associations now hooked up to the chilled water air conditioning system affectionately called RELAC to a group meeting to discuss the system’s future, its lack of profitability and myriad issues involved in its future functioning. That session, and follow up discussions with Aqua Va. representatives and Reston Association leaders stimulated us to begin meeting among ourselves to sort out what choices and alternatives might be facing some 600 households who now rely on RELAC for their seasonal air conditioning.

Here’s what we know:

RELAC is over 40 years old, and has experienced escalating operational and capital repairs in recent years; Aqua Va. reported they have lost money owning RELAC in each of the past several years, and if they can’t sell the system, they may seek a sizeable rate hike from the Va. State Corporation Commission; it appears quite doubtful that RELAC as we have known it in the past will continue to exist 3-5 years from today; there are an array of what may be viable cost effective ways to air condition our homes and condos without everyone having to resort to the more commonly seen individual AC units; there may be very meaningful tax credits and operational savings available to our respective households depending on how we respectively plan for our future AC services; there is a “briar patch” of issues and hurdles yet to work through if, as a community, we are to emerge with future air conditioning systems we can afford and will be satisfied owning.

We hope very shortly to convene an informational meeting of neighbors from all of the cluster and condo associations now on the RELAC system. At that meeting we’ll offer additional details, answer your questions as best we can, and share a brief draft referendum petition which, if adopted later this fall, would authorize some limited multi-year pilot or demonstration AC projects among households now in the RELAC system.

The approach under consideration would seek to amend the covenant to allow a limited number of pilot projects over a three-year period by residents who would be released from the system entirely, with revocation of the covenant to occur after the three years. The pilot AC projects process should give all of us now on the RELAC system a better gauge of the choices, costs and benefits of providing air conditioning in the longer term future.

Again, please look for further information on the upcoming RELAC related community meeting shortly.

Ad Hoc Committee Cluster and Condo Assn. Representatives*

Sam Harahan
Coleson Cluster

Thomas Garrity
Governour’s Square Cluster

Fred Swartzendruber
Hickory Cluster

Rick Thompson
Lake Anne Condominium

Carolee Egan
Vantage Hill Condominium

Mark Waddell

Karen Noel
Water View Cluster

Craig Palmer and
Bryan Smith
Washington Plaza Cluster

1 comment:

  1. What ever happened with this? My children need a more powerful filtration system and I'm sad to say RELAC is woefully inadequate for those with allergies. And while I like how quiet it is, I HATE how it is unreliable, and not under my control... If the system is turned off and there are a few hot days, it doesn't matter how hot my newborn children get, my pregnant self is, or how drained the young ones are... we're all out of luck! We must find a solution more within the control of the individual owners.


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