The Royal Examiner has learned that the Town of Front Royal began examining its finances several months ago regarding the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority, and the amount the Town should have paid the EDA for various services the entity has provided the Town of Front Royal.
Emails obtained by Royal Examiner through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the EDA may owe the Town nearly $300,000.
In an email dated Sept 18, 2018, EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald wrote to Front Royal Director of Finance B.J. Wilson that, “According to the documentation and with help from our auditors and new accounting firm we believe the EDA owes the Town $291,278.64.”
Apparently, the Town had been charged incorrect amounts for debt-servicing since 2009, according to documents obtained by Royal Examiner. B. J. Wilson, Director of Finance for Front Royal has been working with the Council to review all debt-servicing documents over the last several months.
Mr. Wilson indicated in an email to Royal Examiner Tuesday that “the Town became aware of some potential inconsistencies between the amount the Town believes it should have paid the EDA for various services the EDA has provided the Town, and the amount the Town has paid the EDA. The Town and EDA are currently working to resolve these issues.”
Ms. McDonald did not respond to a Tuesday email from Royal Examiner.
The Town Council has apparently been discussing debt servicing issues since early spring, according to Mayor Hollis Tharpe, who said in an interview that “citizens have nothing to be concerned about.” When pressed as to why the public had not been told that the council was looking into the expenditure and possible misallocation of public funds, he exclaimed, “Public opinion will be public opinion!”