Lake Barcroft  
 
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Lake Barcroft Association, Inc. and Barcroft Beach, Inc.

Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) is a nonprofit, nonstock membership corporation to serve as a vehicle for community purchase, maintenance, and operation of the Lake, the dam, and the beaches and other areas of common ownership. As related in The Barcroft Story, elsewhere in this Directory, the coincidental deaths of Col. Barger and Mr. Dockser had resulted in Barcroft Beach, Inc. (BBI), the operating corporation, being put up for sale, with no assurance that the restricted use of the Lake would be continued if it were purchased by other interests.

Prior to LBA, Barcroft Lake Management Association (BARLAMA) was formed under sponsorship of the Community Association, LABARCA, to permit property owners to join in the purchase of BBI, which was effected in September, 1970. The price of $300,000 approximately $300 per each lot, which became the membership fee in the new Association. Some $210,000 had been raised when the sale had to be completed. The remainder of purchase cost was obtained by private loans and by the advanced payment of all or a part of the established $60 covenant fees for the next ten years by a number of the residents. A substantial part of the original debt has been retired by the purchase of some 956 memberships through 1992.

For its $300,000 BARLAMA acquired full ownership of Barcroft Beach, Incorporated, which in turn owns the Lake, the dam, the beaches, and some related parcels of land. It had been formed in 1951 by the real estate developers to manage and operate the Lake and is the recipient of the $60 covenant fees provided for in Barcroft land deeds. Previously operated by the developers' interests, it now became community owned and operated.

BARLAMA and LABARCA merged on February 21, 1992 to become the Lake Barcroft Association, Inc. The Board consists of 13 directors, elected by the membership of LBA for two-year terms. The LBA Board elects the Association's officers and, as representatives of the sole stockholder of BBI, elects the BBI Board of Directors as well. Recently, the Board moved to establish the same officers and directors for both corporations, and the regular meetings are joint LBA/BBI board meetings with decisions binding on each corporation as appropriate.

BARLAMA in 1971, began organizing it's activities and established the community relationships necessary for efficient operations. Most of the problems had financial overtones: debt reduction, collection of past-due beach fees, income tax status, and obtaining of further members. Early in 1972, a serious problem arose when a fuel oil storage tank in Falls Church leaked great quantities of oil through the sewer system into Tripps Run and thence into the Lake. Concentrated work by the community members, with cooperation from Fairfax County and the responsible oil company, made possible a thorough cleanup which left Lake, shoreline and beaches in excellent shape.

Following the oil spill, BARLAMA prepared for the second summer season of community ownership with the promise of the best year in Barcroft's history. This forecast was dashed on Wednesday night, June 21st, when the worst rainstorm in local recorded history, tropical storm Agnes, poured water five feet over the wooden superstructure which then topped the dam. Shortly after 11 pm this record overflow began to scour away the earth at the west end of the masonry structure of the dam and within minutes a washout appeared through which the Lake waters rushed, further deepening the cleft. By morning, when the rain had subsided and the extent of the damage could be assessed, all that remained of the Lake was a pond of a few acres immediately behind the dam.

By next morning, the community was already organizing to assess and minimize the damage and to appraise possibilities for restoration of the Lake. In this undertaking BARLAMA's Board of Directors as well as LABARCA's, played a major part.

Although the dam structure was insured, the insurance carrier denied liability. The issue was ultimately settled with a substantial payment to BBI, but too late to play any part in rebuilding. The possibility of restoration of the dam through public funds was also explored but quickly proved to be impossible, although a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration did assist in the final solution.

The mechanism finally adopted was the creation of a Watershed Improvement District (the "WID"), under Virginia law, coextensive with the Barcroft Community. Creation of the WID in 1973 after several highly successful referendums provided a means for issuing and selling bonds and undertaking payment of principal and interest from funds raised through special property tax collections. The business of contracting for the restoration of the washout, modification of the dam, and removal of critical portions of the silt from the Lake bed fell primarily to the new District as the agency with the funds to accomplish the task. The proceeds from the Small Business Administration disaster loan were channeled through BBI to the WID by purchase of a portion of the bonds; this transaction substantially reduced the average interest rate on the bonds and the tax obligation of Barcroft residents.

Late Spring of 1974 found the dam restored and the gates closed, and normal rainfall filled the Lake to its familiar level by mid-June. During that year BARLAMA worked hard refurbishing the beaches and adjacent areas and planning further improvements. Today we look out on a Lake fully operational, the center of community activities, and unique as a beauty spot in Northern Virginia.