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Is Town Council ready to take action on bad debts?

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At the June 3rd work session the Town Council continued the discussion from the March 4, 2019 work session were Town Council had discussed additional options for collection of bad debt on utility accounts. The items Town Council requested to pursue were:

  1. Judgments for bad debt on utility accounts
  2. Raising the minimum deposit amount from $125.00 to $150.00
  3. Personal guaranty on business utility accounts
  4. Proof of Income

Town Staff is currently processing the first round of utility accounts to obtain judgments and continues to work to streamline the process. Town Staff will report back to Town Council with an update once judgments have been put in place or additional information is obtained.

Town Staff has recommended several options to include:

  • Requiring a personal guaranty and/or furnishing proof of income should help reduce the Town’s bad debt expense, but will make the utility application process more cumbersome for applicants.There are approximately 2,000 new utility accounts opened each year and approximately 240 are subject to bad debt expense after 5 years. The amount written off during FY2018 was roughly 1% of the dollar value billed.
  • Staff recommends raising the minimum amount of deposit on utility accounts, allowing staff to continue pursuing judgments, and possibly review additional collection options such as the personal guaranty & proof of income after one year.

As you can see in these related stories, the Town Council has been discussing this bad debt issue for some time. Is it now time for action? The proposed code (with changes) is below.

Town of Front Royal to write off more bad debt & update policy

$53,364.65 written off; new policy needed to handle bad debt on utility accounts

Town writes off bad debts

Town Council approved a revision to the Bad Debt Policy in March 2019 and requested to review/approve write-off of bad debt quarterly. Town Council is requested to approve the removal of 5 years or older of outstanding accounts receivable (bad debts) on the Town’s ledger for the second quarter of 2019 totaling $27,755.98 which is comprised of 59 utility accounts. All possible recourse of attempting to collect these amounts has been completed and the accounts have no activity for at least 5 years.

HISTORY: The Town of Front Royal had a large dollar value of uncollectible “bad debt” recorded yearly on the Town’s ledger, due to non-payment of utility bills which had not been addressed for over 30 years until 2012. The Town’s auditing firm, Mitchell & Company, requested that Town Council approve a policy that would allow the Department of Finance to review outstanding uncollectable debt annually, and abate the bad debt from ledgers after all avenues for collection had been exhausted. Town Council adopted a bad debt policy on November 13, 2012 that deemed an uncollectible account as having no activity for a period of 7 years. Town Council adopted a revision to the bad debt policy on March 11, 2019 that deemed an uncollectible account as having no activity for a period of 5 years to coincide with the Code of Virginia.

Code of Virginia § 8.01-246 allows action to be taken to collect on written contracts for a period of 5 (five) years. Written agreements are used for Town of Front Royal Utility Accounts. Based on the Code of Virginia, a Town of Front Royal Utility Account would be deemed uncollectible after there has been no activity from the account holder for a period of 5 (five) consecutive years.

Based on the utilities billed & bad debt written off during FY2018, the Town of Front Royal Department of Finance collected approximately 99% of the amounts billed annually before accounts were deemed uncollectible and written off.

Town Staff has determined that the accounts presented meet the criteria for uncollectible as determined by the Town’s bad debt write off policy:

  1. No activity on closed account for at least 5 years
  2. All other methods of collection have been exhausted

The amount of bad debt approved to be removed by Council is as follows:

  • Dec 2013 – $848,191 – approved for removal
  • Dec 2014 – $144,049 – approved for removal
  • Feb 2016 – $225,318 – approved for removal
  • Feb 2017 – $203,808 – approved for removal
  • Nov 2017 – $175,999 – approved for removal
  • Oct 2018 – $166,191- approved for removal
  • Mar 2019 – $277,974.34 – approved for removal along with revision to policy
  • June 2019 – $27,755.98

The FY19 budgeted revenue for the sales of electric, water, sewer, & refuse totals approximately $30.8 million. The amount of $27,755.98 represents approximately 0.09% of the budgeted sales.

Here is a list of the Utility Account Bad Debt
Balance – Service Address – Final Bill Due Date
680.88 84  – E STRASBURG RD #4 –  3/31/2014
205.63  – 604 EARL CT – 3/13/2014
415.08 – 112 W 16TH ST – 5/31/2014
312.82 – 1318 DIXIE AVE – 5/30/2014
171.26 – 1122 N SHENANDOAH AVE #6 – 5/23/2014
400.34 – 111 W 12TH ST #1 – 3/20/2014
216.37 – 706 W 14TH ST – 4/2/2014
422.72 – 842 W 11TH ST – 4/17/2014
207.44 – 708 W 11TH ST #3 – 3/31/2014
246.19 – 708 W 11TH ST #4 – 3/7/2014
318.61 – 650 E W 11TH ST – 3/21/2014
509.49 – 343 KENDRICK LN #20 – 5/31/2014
214.27 – 1400 MASSANUTTEN AVE #2 – 5/23/2014
301.63 – 122-B N ROYAL AVE – 4/17/2014
240.14 – 21-D W 6TH ST  – 3/7/2014
763.28 – 717 VILLA AVE – 4/22/2014
180.38 – 15 MASSIE ST – 3/7/2014
551.07 – 144 CHESTER ST #1 – 4/17/2014
44.71 – 8-A CHESTER ST – 4/17/2014
670.05 – 190 COMMERCE AVE – 5/23/2014
249.70 – 110 E 4TH ST – 4/17/2014
374.21 – 718 WARREN AVE #3 – 3/21/2014
1504.30 216-B E MAIN ST 4/24/2014
219.18 – 615-A VISCOSE AVE – 7/31/2013
418.60 – 518 W MAIN ST #3 – 4/24/2014
52.77 – 117 E MAIN ST #3 – 8/5/2013
403.30 – 413-A E MAIN ST – 3/7/2014
422.50 – 23 S ROYAL AVE – 3RD FLOOR – 4/30/2014
50.87 – 215 S ROYAL AVE #3 – 9/10/2013
120.72 – 124 W JACKSON ST #6 – 3/24/2014
63.61 – 405 E CRISER RD #204 – 3/20/2014
346.70 – 1084 FOX DR – 5/7/2014
326.83 – 19 SHENANDOAH COMMONS WAY #103 – 4/24/2014
139.26 – 17 SHENANDOAH COMMONS WAY #201 – 9/27/2013
224.74 – 13 SHENANDOAH COMMONS WAY #103 – 3/31/2014
586.40 – 634 BEL AIR AVE – 5/23/2014
492.39 – 425 BEL AIR AVE – 4/30/2014
1173.34 – 519 BEL AIR AVE – 5/23/2014
604.67 – 1433 HAPPY CREEK RD – 3/31/2014
84.19 – 541 S ROYAL AVE POOL/OFFICE – 11/28/2013
529.27 – 227 CHURCH ST #3 – 4/30/2014
247.06 – 315 PINE ST – 5/1/2013
4466.22 – 226 CHURCH ST – 2/13/2014
755.37 – 219 CLOUD ST #2 – 3/31/2014
1054.78 – 219 CLOUD ST #4 – 4/24/2014
72.49  – 320 CLOUD ST #3 – 4/14/2014
1024.16 – 320 CLOUD ST #5 – 3/17/2014
202.07 – 10 HIGH ST #1 – 4/14/2014
423.26 – 212 FLETCHER ST – 5/28/2014
152.05 – 322 RITENOUR ST – 3/7/2014
531.84 – 337 RITENOUR ST – 4/22/2014
854.11 – 101 PINECREST ST – 5/10/2013
178.54 – 27 ROYAL LN #3 – 4/2/2014
86.69 – 61 ROYAL LN #1 – 5/16/2014
338.63 – 125 BIGGS DR #8 – 5/23/2014
511.77 – 1443 JOHN MARSHALL HWY #5 – 4/2/2014
863.22 – 2 LAKE AVE – 4/30/2014
82.24 – 205 POLK AVE – 3/13/2014
451.57 – 209 POLK AVE – 3/13/2014
TOTAL $27755.98

This is the proposed code to Town of Front Royal Municipal Code 134-71 related to the remaining four items listed above.

134-71 UTILITY ACCOUNTS-PAYMENTS/TERMINATION OF SERVICE

A. DEPOSIT:
1. Amount: For an existing residential service location, the deposit required for Town utility services shall be an amount equal to the highest monthly bill for that location during the preceding twelve months or one hundred and  fifty dollars ($150.00), whichever is greater.

For an existing commercial service location, the deposit required for Town utility services shall be an amount equal to the highest monthly bill for that location during the preceding twelve months or two hundred dollars ($200.00), whichever is greater.

To calculate the amount of the deposit for newly established residential or commercial service locations, the Front Royal Department of Finance shall establish the deposit at an amount equal to the customer’s anticipated monthly usage of water and electric service, as may be the case.

If, at any time, the customer’s deposit is waived or returned, as set forth below, but the customer’s service subsequently is terminated for nonpayment or the customer has made four late payments during any twelve month period, a deposit, in an amount as set forth above, shall be required.

2. Deposit Waiver: Notwithstanding the foregoing, no deposit shall be required hen an acceptable credit history is furnished by the customer from a previous utility provider. Acceptable credit history is defined as a customer who can demonstrate that during the previous twelve months his bills were paid with no more than four (4) late payments on a monthly billing system or no more than two (2) late payments on a bimonthly system.

3. Payment of Deposit: Payment of the deposit is due upon execution of the service work order. In lieu of the foregoing, when the required deposit for a residential customer exceeds one hundred dollars ($100.00) but is less than two hundred dollars ($200.00), the customer may elect to pay one hundred dollars ($100.00) at the time the work order is executed and pay the balance of the deposit along with payment for the first month’s service. When the required deposit exceeds two hundred dollars ($200.00), the deposit may be paid in two equal installments with one half due when the work order is signed and pay the remaining half along with the payment for the first month’s service.

4. Interest and Refunds: Deposits shall be held in an interest-bearing account. Deposit plus interest shall be refunded either: (1) upon termination of the service account in an amount equal to the deposit and accrued interest minus any amount deducted to satisfy customer arrearages or other debts owing to the Town; or (2) upon the customer’s request after a period of twelve months of service during which there were no more than four delinquent payments. Upon request of a refund, the Director of Finance shall first ensure that customer does not have any debts owing to the Town. If the customer is indebted to the Town, the Director of Finance will apply any refund toward satisfaction of these debts prior to the refund of any money to the customer.

B. PAYMENTS:
1. Due Date – Fines and Charges: All payments for water, sewer, electric, and garbage collection services shall be due within 20 days of the date of billing. Accounts, for which full payment is  not received within 20 days, are delinquent. A late charge of 2% of the delinquent bill immediately shall be charged to the delinquent account. If the account remains delinquent for 10 days after  the original notice, an additional service charge of $10.00 shall be charged. Finally, a service charge will be required to reconnect service that has been discontinued due to non-payment. If the reconnection occurs during normal business hours, the reconnection fee shall be $20.00-first reconnection fee; $30.00-second reconnection fee; $40.00-third reconnection fee; $50.00- reconnection fee for all other times.

2. Allocation of Payments: During a delinquency in the payment for any service (electric, water, sewerage, or garbage collection) any subsequent payment received for services will be applied first against the most delinquent account which is not subject to a defense of any applicable statute of limitations.

3. Budget Billing: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Director of Finance, in his discretion, may enter into agreements with customers for alternative billing and payment schedules with persons on fixed or limited incomes.

C. TERMINATION OF SERVICES:
1. Notice: The Director of Finance shall notify the customer in writing of all 20 day delinquencies, imminent service termination, and right to contest as set forth below. Notice also shall be posted on the door of the premise with the delinquent account.

2. Protest: The customer may contest the bill by contacting the Director of Finance for the Town of Front Royal who will immediately schedule a hearing on the customer’s claim that his account is not delinquent.

3. Disconnection of Service: If the matter is not successfully contested by the customer and arrearages remain 10 days after the date of the aforementioned notices, water service shall be disconnected. If the account remains delinquent after another 2 days, electric service shall be disconnected. If, however, the customer has not secured water service, electric service (rather than water) will be disconnected after 10 days. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no services shall be disconnected prior to a requested hearing.

4. Persons in Poor Health: Customer may seek an additional 30 days before water and electric services are disconnected if the Director of the Warren County Health Department certifies in writing to the Town of Front Royal Director of Finance that the customer has a serious medical condition or the customer resides with a family member with a serious medical condition. Upon providing certification the service termination may be delayed twice within a 12-month period, but may not be consecutive, certification shall be valid for period of 365 days.

5. Conditions for Reconnection of Service: Once disconnected, services shall not be restored to that customer until the outstanding balance (service fee(s), penalty, and reconnection fee(s))  for that service location is paid in full, unless the Director of Finance has approved other arrangements for payment in full.

D. RETURNED CHECK POLICY: If a check is returned to the Town for any reason, the Director of Finance shall notify, in the same manner as provided above, the Customer. If payment, in full, plus a $35.00 service charge is not received by the close of business three days after the date on the notice, all utility services to the customer’s service location shall be disconnected. If the customer presents the Town with more than two bad checks during any twelve month payment, payment by check will no longer be accepted.

E. BUSINESS ACCOUNTS. The Town shall require any entity not a natural person requesting a utility account to either: (1) provide the written personal guaranty of payment from a natural
person holding an ownership interest in the entity or, (2) pay an additional deposit amount equal to the greater of: (a) twice the average monthly utility bill during the preceding twelve (12) month period for utilities provided at the service location or, (b) $375.00. Any additional deposit paid pursuant to (2), above, after applying same to any past due balances, shall be refunded to the entity within a reasonable time after the utility account is closed.

F. PROOF OF INCOME. Customer shall furnish Town with documentation necessary to verify source of income to prove ability to pay average monthly utility bill for that location for the preceding 12 month period; such proof may include, pay stub, bank statement, copy of last year’s federal tax return, wages and tax statement (W-2 and/or 1099’s), pension payment, social security payment, child/spousal support agreement, and/or other documentation deemed acceptable.

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Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Health Insurance – Part 5

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Town Manager Joe Waltz leads the discussion on the Town’s Health Insurance.

At the August 19th Front Royal Town Council work session, the Council had a list of seventeen items to discuss. The first six goals have been covered in previous stories on the Royal Examiner.

In part 5 of our coverage, Goal item number 7 was discussed – Health Insurance.

Town Manager Joe Waltz leads the discussion.

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Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Happy Creek Area – Part 4

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Town Manager Joe Waltz leads the discussion. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

At the August 19th Front Royal Town Council work session, the Council had a list of seventeen items to discuss. The first five goals have been covered in previous stories on the Royal Examiner.

In part 4 of our coverage, Goal item number 6 was discussed – Happy Creek area development, infrastructure.

Council indicated staff is working to get development of the Happy Creek Road area moving forward. A primary goal is to qualify for a funding split with VDOT on area road infrastructure improvements. New road infrastructure improvements were designed over 20 years ago. That plan needs to be redesigned and reengineered in order to improve the Town’s ability to qualify for a VDOT funding split.

The road plans for the area are closely tied to the Front Royal Limited Partnership (FRLP) plans for a primarily residential development of some one thousand homes on about 750 acres of land on the town’s east side.

Staff informed council that a revised road plan needed to be created by October 30. It was also determined that a plan for roads in the nearby designated Urban Development Area and near the new Valley Health hospital project also be completed by October 30. Council also decided to reevaluate PND (Planned Neighborhood Development) /Subdivision ordinances.

“I’m not finger pointing the planning division, I want to find a happy medium between what the planning division and the town council wants,” Interim Mayor Tederick stated. A council consensus was to create a committee to address the issues with PND/subdivision ordinances by September 30. This committee will provide a report to the council by January 30, 2020.

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Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Pedestrian safety – Part 3

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Town Manager Joe Waltz leads the discuss on Pedestrian Safety.

At the August 19th Front Royal Town Council work session, the Council had a list of seventeen items to discuss. The first two were covered in this related story:

Town tackles priority issues over Melting Pot pizza at 4-hour work session – Part 1

In Part 2, the Council discussed Streets/Infrastructure improvements (paving, storm sewer, curb & gutter and sidewalks) and I & I, or Inflow and Infiltration, issues with its drainage system.

Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Infrastructure – Part 2

Now with Part 3, the Council discussed pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian Safety has been championed by Vice Mayor Bill Sealock this past year. The Town has taken steps to heighten public awareness and elevate common sense in conjunction with existing traffic laws to reduce the likelihood of more vehicular-foot traffic collisions.

Goal 5, Pedestrian safety:

The final high priority item was the ongoing issue of pedestrian safety on Town roads. South Street and North Shenandoah Avenue continue to be high-traffic areas of primary concern. It was noted that pedestrian-vehicle accidents have primarily occurred at dusk and dawn during the busiest traffic flow times of the day. It was noted that a 50/50 cost sharing request has been submitted to VDOT for improved lighting to combat the visibility issue.

Additional signage and improved pedestrian crossing markings are also planned. Educating pedestrians to utilizing marked crossings and alerting drivers to pedestrian right of way in these areas continues to be a crucial factor in heading off future vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

“I’d like this council to review the study and recommendations on getting more curb; it’s more complicated but I think it would help with increasing pedestrian safety,” Councilman Meza said.

Council determined to re-evaluate the South Street plan by September 30, and to develop a safety plan for Kerfoot Avenue near the soccer fields by September 29.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:

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EDA in Focus

EDA Reform Committee weighs options as information being assembled

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The EDA Reform Committee gets down to business – Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The committee grown out of the first full joint Town-County meeting to discuss the future of the Economic Development Authority held its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, August 22, at the Front Royal Town Hall.

Among topics of discussion were:
– election of a chairman;

– the “Pros and Cons of limiting the EDA mission”;
– “Types of EDA Structures and Relationships in Virginia and Nationally”;
– “How to dissolve the EDA legally”;
– The “EDA filing bankruptcy”;
– And the advisability of separate County, EDA legal counsel.

The short answers were: Archie Fox; probably a good idea to focus on commercial and industrial recruitment and facilitating a positive environment for existing businesses; regional associations and independent ones; probably cannot be done within the existing financial situation but long run make EDA employees County staff; not enough info to determine an answer but probably not; and perhaps separate counsel as a short term trial in the wake of current County-EDA Attorney Dan Whitten’s pending departure for another job on September 13 with his assistant on maternity leave until mid October.

Soon-to-be-departed for other horizons County-EDA Attorney Dan Whitten, left, Committee Chair Archie Fox and new EDA Executive Director Doug Parsons listen to the noise from the other side of the table.

Some public skepticism greeted the announcement of the committee’s makeup of the Town Manager and County Administrator, County and Town Attorneys, EDA Executive Director and one representative of both the Front Royal Town Council and Warren County Board of Supervisors.

And while those two elected municipal officials and appointed administrative and legal staffers may be best positioned bureaucratically to develop a game plan to guide the EDA forward or not, it was their presence in their positions in recent years – save new EDA Executive Director Doug Parsons – as the EDA financial fraud scandal was allegedly developing under their collective noses that contributed to any public perception that a municipally-led committee might not be best qualified to reach a permanent solution to see past mistakes are not repeated.

Perhaps in reaction to such public skepticism, Interim Front Royal Mayor Matt Tederick told Royal Examiner in a recent video interview that he plans to suggest creation of a citizen committee to review the EDA Reform Committee findings.

Interested spectators included six of the seven EDA Board of Directors, from left in back row are Greg Harold and Ed Daley, and in front of them from left, Tom Patteson, Jorie Martin, Jeff Browne and Gray Blanton – only Mark Baker was absent.

But judge for yourself – watch the committee, whose name newest EDA Board member Jorie Martin suggested at Friday morning’s monthly EDA meeting be considered for a change, get their feet wet in establishing what went wrong in the past and how such mistakes can avoid being repeated in the future as the EDA board and staff move to right the ship of community economic development in this Royal Examiner video (And Jorie, we have a name suggestion not so reminiscent of “Reform School” – how about The EDA Steering Committee? After all, they are steering toward a plan of action.)

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Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Infrastructure – Part 2

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Town Manager Joe Waltz continues the goal setting work session with streets, infrastructure and I&I issues. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The Town Council continued the goal setting session with the next two items.

Goal 3 – Streets infrastructure improvements:

The council next addressed its road infrastructure, putting it high on its budget priority list. “We need to address the infrastructure, it’s a real problem here, as it’s falling apart in my area. The budget will not sustain a project to fix our streets at this time, we need another source of financing,” Councilman Tewalt told his colleagues.

Several councilmen suggested a bond issue or loan might be required to take on this problem.

There were several particular problem roads discussed such as the Bridge on Prospect Street, as well as traffic lights on North Shenandoah, which are in need of repair. Eventually an infrastructure plan with cost estimates was proposed to catalog all the roads and bridges that need repairs. Council will seek fund alternatives to help with cost estimates given that the projected budget can’t withstand the number of repairs needed. A project plan is scheduled for submission and approval by September 30.

Goal 4 – I&I issues:

The Council then addressed I & I, or Inflow and Infiltration, issues with its drainage system. Due to heavy rainfall, the council had a meeting with DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) and have been under a State Consent Order on upgrades since 2009. Consequently a new meeting is scheduled to rewrite the order because of existing violations. Apparently plans of action are already in effect and the staff estimate is about $3 million dollars to come into compliance with mandated upgrades to control stormwater runoff.

The unusually high amount of rain last year was pointed to as the cause of the overflow issues and consequent Consent Order water treatment violations. Flow tests will be conducted in the spring of 2020 to see if the repairs and upgrades have worked and brought the I&I system up to code. However, these repairs are on town owned properties, but involve customer owned pipes that have not yet been repaired. Council has designed a plan for long term repairs and upgrades to the customer-owned pipes. This plan is scheduled to be contracted by December 31 of this year.

So now we’ve covered four out of seventeen – Part Three will be Pedestrian Safety.

Pedestrian Safety has been championed by Vice Mayor Bill Sealock this past year. The Town has taken steps to heighten public awareness and elevate common sense in conjunction with existing traffic laws to reduce the likelihood of more vehicular-foot traffic collisions.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:

Town tackles priority issues over Melting Pot pizza at 4-hour work session – Part 1

Front Royal grapples with pedestrian safety in wake of two fatalities

One day after traffic safety discussion, another pedestrian struck in town

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Town tackles priority issues over Melting Pot pizza at 4-hour work session – Part 1

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Town Manager Joe Waltz leads the Goal Setting session. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

A closed session originally scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., an hour into a projected four-hour Town Council Work Session, instead took up the first hour of the Monday, August 19 meeting. That closed session was called to discuss the performance, salaries, etc. of unspecified “employees of the Town”. No action was taken following the closed session adjournment.

So it was the open portion of the work session that ended up beginning around 6 p.m. to face an agenda more indicative of a weekend council retreat in its far-ranging scope. And to assure the survival of all participants, who would likely be missing dinner with a 5 p.m. start to a projected four-hour work session, some Melting Pot pizza was delivered to Town Hall to bolster the troops.

The open session began with a presentation on how council’s goal setting is an important first step in the town’s budget process. Council tackled 17 specific topics, with six additional ones listed under “Other goal areas” added toward the meeting’s conclusion. Those “Other Goals” included: “Reduce Town Government Expense”, “Public Relations/Communications”, “Marketing”, “Steele Street Paving Concerns”, “Fleet Management Plan”, and “Parking – Main Street”.

The stated goal was to spend 15 minutes on each of the first six subjects, as they were prioritized as the most important, then spend less than 10 minutes on the remaining topics. However, those “Other goal areas” were not addressed due to time and complexity and were moved to the next work session agenda.

The first two topics were a familiar list of Town and citizen priorities, including: 1/ the status of the Afton Inn renovation project now on hold due to number 2/ the “EDA (EDA lawsuit/project financing/local EDA).

Goal 1 – The Afton Inn:

Redevelopment of The Afton Inn has been a point of major concern since the EDA civil litigation of March 26 was filed and brought restoration work to a halt. The work stoppage appeared due to “Afton Inn embezzlements” being listed as one point in the EDA civil suit. And while the developers have not been implicated in any wrongdoing, the EDA civil litigation alleges that former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald illegally moved EDA resources under the scope of Afton Inn project work orders or designations.

So the massive brick shell of the 151-year-old former Montview Hotel dating to 1868 looms gutted, windowless and crumbling at the head of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District. Council priorities concerning the project were to find a solution to get the redevelopment restarted or tear the building down and expand downtown parking onto the property.

And while that latter solution would anger many citizens who expressed concerns about replacing such a historic structure with a parking lot, rather than a redeveloped showpiece for downtown, the council consensus appeared to be a need to move toward a quicker resolution, or be out of other options.

Council is currently working with the EDA on a deal to retake ownership of the property and move toward a resolution on the project. Part of the problem is that council is unwilling to co-sign a loan with the EDA and allow EDA to keep ownership of the property due to the EDA financial scandal and related litigation between the two parties.

Another issue looked at is that 2 East Main Street LLC, the redevelopment entity responsible for rebuilding the Afton Inn, had a condition to finish this project within 5 years. That condition may need to be revisited due to the ongoing work stoppage. Money is also owed to the 2 East Main Street LLC and its sub-contractors for work done.

So the big questions here are taking ownership, negotiating terms with EDA, and negotiating with the contractor. Council seems committed to re-taking ownership and moving more quickly to some final resolution. Council determined to develop an action plan for the project by September 15.

Goal 2 – EDA:

The question of what to do about the EDA still hangs over council’s head. There is confusion on what actions can and need to be taken. “The reform committee needs to meet, in the meantime we have a civil suit in place, what other action is needed at this time,” Interim Mayor Tederick asked. The upcoming EDA reform committee meeting of August 22 was looked to for answers. Another primary issue of concern is financing and payments being made on the new police headquarters construction.

So that’s two out of seventeen – Part Two will included Streets/Infrastructure improvements (paving, storm sewer, curb & gutters and sidewalks) and Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) issues.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:

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This four week course with the instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply[...]
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The McShin Foundation and RSW (Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren County) Regional Jail would like to invite you to our substance abuse and recovery summit to be held on August 29, 2019, in Front Royal, Virginia.[...]
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1:00 pm DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
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Come join DJ Skyhigh for his end of summer blast. Lisa Bell will be hosting wine tastings (at an additional charge) of over 50 international wines. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle to[...]
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Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
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SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
Sep 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundraiser @ Skyline High School
Skyline High School Marching Band is having a mattress sale fundraiser on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, Virginia). There will[...]
12:00 pm 2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
Sep 7 @ 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
Golf – “Captains Choice Format” 12pm Shotgun “Tail Gate” Food and Drinks – 5pm to 8pm Golf + Food & Drinks $45 Tail Gate Food & Drinks Only $15
1:00 pm Strokes of Creativity: 1-year ce... @ Strokes of Creativity
Strokes of Creativity: 1-year ce... @ Strokes of Creativity
Sep 7 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Strokes of Creativity: 1-year celebration @ Strokes of Creativity
Join us for our 1-year celebration on Sept. 7 from 1-6 pm. We will have demos, and Artist meet and greets. Unique and one of kind items, face painting, crafts and Chase from Paw Patrol will[...]
6:00 pm FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sep 7 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
In tandem with the 110th anniversary of the church building, the Front Royal United Methodist Church will host Homecoming ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, September 7th and 8th. Five previous pastors have agreed to return[...]
Sep
10
Tue
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 10 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]