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Town sends out ‘Request for Proposal’ for search consultant to recruit new Town Manager

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Town Hall Front Royal, Virginia

Here is the Request for Proposal that the Town Council has released for a search consultant to recruit a new Town Manager.

PART ONE – PURPOSE
The Town of Front Royal invites the submission of sealed proposals from executive search consultants with national experience in recruiting candidates for the position of Town Manager.

The Town is looking for a search firm that is capable of showcasing the community’s unique amenities, quality of life, and professional organization to attract a seasoned manager with demonstrated experience and success in leadership and management. The desired Town Manager should be someone that works, leads, and manages in a collaborative manner and can work with
Council, staff, and stakeholders to establish a vision, identify strategic goals and execute actions in an efficient fashion. The Town needs a leader with the highest ethical standards and integrity.


This Request for Proposal (RFP) is being issued by the Town of Front Royal with the intent to enter into a Contract for Services. The awarded contract will be for a period of one (1) year,
beginning on the date of final signature. The successful proposing firm will have experience in providing such services to government entities and other organizations of similar size and
complexity in the region and have the staff capacity and expertise to do so for the Town of Front Royal.

Cooperative Contracting
This solicitation is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of Virginia Code § 2.2-4304. This clause is intended to allow the successful Contractor to offer the goods and services requested in this solicitation to other public bodies. Offering to sell goods and services to other jurisdictions is voluntary on the Contractor’s part. A public body’s participation in the contract
is also voluntary. Failure to offer the terms and conditions of the contract to other jurisdictions neither disqualifies a bidder nor adversely affect the award of the contract. The successful Contractor must deal directly with a participating public body concerning placement of orders, issuance of Purchase Orders, contractual disputes, invoices and payments. In no event shall the
Town of Front Royal, its officials or staff be responsible for any costs, damages or injury as a result of any Town contract extended to a public body by the successful Contractor. The Town
of Front Royal acts only as the “Contracting Agent” for this contract. The Town assumes no responsibility for any notification of the availability of the contract for use by other public bodies. Other public bodies desiring to use the contract shall make their own legal determination as to whether the use of the contract is consistent with their laws, regulations, and other policies.

Any participating public body has the option of executing a separate contract with the successful Contractor. Contracts entered into with a participating public body may contain general terms
and conditions unique to that public body. If, when preparing such a contract, the general terms and conditions of the participating public body are unacceptable to the successful contractor, the
Contractor may withdraw its extension of the contract to that participating public body.

An RFP is used for procurement of services in situations where price is not the sole determining factor and the award will be based on a combination of cost and technical factors (Best Value).
Through its proposal, the Offeror offers a solution to the objectives, problems, and needs specified in this RFP, and defines how it intends to meet (or exceed) the RFP requirements.

The Town of Front Royal may cancel this Request for Proposals or reject proposals at any time prior to an award and is not required to furnish a statement of the reasons why a particular proposal
was not deemed to be the most advantageous (Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4359D).

INFORMATION
The legislative and policy making body of the Town is the Mayor and the six-member Town Council whose members are elected. The Town Council appoints the Town Manager, who serves as Chief Administrative Officer. It is the Town Manager’s responsibility to hire department heads. The Town currently employs approximately 172 full-time equivalent employees.

The Town has contracted with an Interim Town Manager while the search for a permanent Town Manager is underway.

The Town of Front Royal has an estimated population of 14,666, and Warren County has an additional 23,404 residents surrounding Front Royal.

Location
Front Royal is centrally located near the intersection of Interstates 66 and 81, and 70 miles west of Washington DC. The Town is also located at the confluence of the North and South Forks of
the Shenandoah River. Front Royal is also just south of the Virginia Inland Port, a truck container to rail port network serving the deep-water ports of Virginia in Norfolk.

Education
Two top-rated universities are located in Warren County: Christendom College and George Mason University’s Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation located at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

The Warren County Public School system offers students accredited courses of study in addition to offering students programs at the Blue Ridge Technical Center, the Project Lead the Way
Study Programs in engineering and biomedical sciences, and study at the Mountain Vista Governor’s School. In addition, Front Royal is home to Randolph Macon Academy, an Air Force
affiliated co-ed day and boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12.

STATEMENT OF NEEDS
The Town needs to develop a plan for soliciting potential candidates and presenting finalists to the Town Council by:

Interviewing the Mayor, Town Council, and Department Heads to determine an overall understanding of the Town and how it functionally operates.

Questioning all Town Council Members and the Mayor to develop the general criteria and skillsets for the position of Town Manager.

Questioning all Town Council Members and the Mayor to determine a general vision they have for the future of the Town in order to ensure the finalists have the same general vision.

Designing a robust public participation process for Council approval so that residents and employees can provide their comments and thoughts about attributes they want in the Town
Manager.

Meeting with the Town Council as necessary to facilitate the development of an appropriate candidate profile and list of priorities for the new Town Manager.

Developing a position profile, and all recruiting material in conjunction with the Town Council, Interim Town Manager, and other key individuals and sources selected by the Council, that
addresses the specific leadership qualities, duties, responsibilities, operational issues, education and training, personal characteristics and traits, and other factors that are relevant to the position.

Conducting all recruiting efforts for the position including targeted mailings, selected advertising, networking, direct inquiries, and use of consultant’s knowledge of potential candidates.

Answering questions from candidates and collecting application materials.

Reviewing all application materials received, comparing them to the candidate profile and performing screening interviews as needed.

Working with the Town Council to select 4-6 finalists; prepare a summary report on all finalists; determine and prepare appropriate interview/selection process for Council, staff and the
community to conduct in-depth interviews of each finalist; and participate and manage all interviews and community sessions with the assistance of the Interim Town Manager.

Conducting detailed background investigations (including, but not limited to, social media) and verify references and credentials of finalists. Prepare a detailed report on each finalist.

Assisting the Town Council and all stakeholders in the interview and selection process.

Assisting in the negotiation of an employment agreement with the final candidate, as directed by the Town Council and coordinated with the Interim Town Manager and Town Attorney.

The consultant may continue to provide the services above until a Town Manager is appointed, or until the contract is cancelled by the Town. In addition, should the newly appointed Town
Manager be terminated for cause or resign within twenty-four (24) months, the consultant may conduct a replacement search at no charge.

Schedule:
The Town intends to award a contract before July 1, 2020. The Town is interested in an expedited yet thorough recruitment process, and in completing the search and selection process for the new Town Manager as soon as practical.

PART TWO – PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Proposers are asked to respond and to tab their proposals according to the following items in the sequence presented:

Qualifications. Describe the background, public sector experience, and executive search capabilities of your firm. Please give specific information regarding your qualifications to conduct Town Manager searches for entities similar to the Town of Front Royal. Describe in what ways have members of your firm developed personal contacts with potential candidates for this position.

Scope of Services. Provide a scope of services and a proposed outline of tasks, products, and recruitment schedule. Major proposed deviations from the desired scope of services outlined in
this request for proposal should be clearly noted.

Consulting Staff. Provide the name of the individual responsible for the recruitment including subcontractors, the percentage of the time said individual will allocate to the recruitment, and the
specific experience of the individual relative to the recruitment. Describe how many successful searches the consulting staff has conducted within the last two years. Identify how many other
executive searches the responsible person currently is involved in.

References. Provide a list of a minimum of five (5) clients who can verify your firm’s ability to provide the scope of services requested, include a brief description of the work along with contract award and completion dates for each recruitment. For each reference, include the name(s), telephone number(s) and email address(es) of the client’s project manager.

Cost. Provide a cost proposal that includes a lump sum fee and estimate of detailed expenses.

Approach. Provide a general description, based on experience, as to how the firm would approach the process, including methodology and estimated timelines, and how they would involve stakeholders and work together with the Town towards final appointment of the successful candidate. Identify how the firm will ensure that the Town receives prompt and timely attention throughout this process.

Sample Materials. Please provide 3-5 recent samples of recruiting specifications, community/agency profiles, recruitment brochures, invitee letters, announcements, and so forth from your firm.

Required Signature Pages. See Exhibit B.

Submission of Proposals & Questions
Sealed proposals, subject to the specifications and conditions contained hereto, will be received in the Purchasing Department until 2:00 P.M., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019.

Proposals are to be mailed to the Town of Front Royal, ATTN: Alisa Scott, Purchasing Manager, P.O. Box 1560, Front Royal, Virginia 22630. Proposals may also be hand delivered until the scheduled date and time shown above to the Purchasing Department, 102 E. Main Street, Front Royal.

The outermost envelope which a proposal and copies is contained therein must be clearly marked “EXECUTIVE SEARCH”. The Town of Front Royal is not responsible for delays in the delivery
of the mail by the U.S. Postal Service, private couriers, or the inter-office mail system. It is the sole responsibility of the Offeror to ensure this its proposal reaches the Town of Front Royal by
the designated date and hour.

Any proposal received after the announced time and date of the submittal deadline will not be considered.

One (1) original and nine (9) copies of your proposal must be received by the Town by December 4, 2019 Proposals shall be submitted the following address:

Town of Front Royal
Attn: Alisa Scott, Purchasing Manager
PO Box 1560
102 E. Main Street
Front Royal VA 22630

If the Town of Front Royal has closed due to inclement weather and/or emergency situations prior to or at the time set aside for receipt of proposals, the published due date will default to the
next open business day at the same time.

Deadline changes and any addenda shall be transmitted by e-mail to all registered holders of the Request for Proposal. Request for a copy of the RFP does not commit the holder to submit a
proposal.

All costs of proposal preparation and presentation shall be borne by each Offeror. The Town of Front Royal is not liable for any cost incurred by the Offeror prior to issuance of a contract.

Submittal of a proposal indicates acceptance by the proposer of the conditions contained in this request. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to reject without prejudice any or all
responses. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to waive formalities and negotiate with any proposer. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to amend the specifications of this
Request for Proposals and request new and/or updated proposals at any time prior to award of contract.

The Town shall select the best proposal based upon the evaluation criteria.

Each Offeror is responsible for examining and understanding this RFP prior to submitting a proposal. Offerors assume all risk of errors contained in this procurement process and no contract
awarded will be increased to cover costs that should have been anticipated by the Offeror in examining the documents.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to request verification, validation or clarification of any information contained in a proposal.

Proposals shall be valid for ninety (90) days following the opening date. No proposal may be withdrawn or changed during this period.

Submitted proposals shall be available to the public for review for a period of sixty (60) days after award of contract.

All communication regarding this RFP shall be directed to the following contact:

Julie Bush – HR Director
Town of Front Royal
102 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635 – 3929
jbush@frontroyalva.com

Ms. Bush will provide all respondents with any information required to successfully prepare a response which will meet the Town’s needs.

Contact with other Town employees regarding this RFP is prohibited without prior consent.

Vendors that directly contact employees risk elimination.

Nothing herein is intended to exclude any responsible firm or in any way restrain or restrict competition. On the contrary, all responsible firms are encouraged to submit proposals.

The awarding authority for this contract is the Town of Front Royal. It is understood and agreed that the contract generated from this Proposal shall be subject to annual appropriations by the
Town of Front Royal Town Council. Should the Council fail to appropriate funds for the contract, the contract will be terminated when funds are exhausted. There shall be no penalty should the
Council fail to make annual appropriations for the contract.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals; to waive informalities; to negotiate with the lowest qualified Offeror in order to stay within available budget
funding; and to award the project as deemed in its judgment to be in the best interest of the Town of Front Royal.

All Offerors shall abide by all applicable State and Federal laws.

The Town of Front Royal does not discriminate against small and minority businesses.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals.

PART THREE EVALUATION AND AWARD CRITERIA
Each proposal will be independently evaluated on the criteria listed below. Points assigned to each category are listed in parentheses:

Consultant Experience/Qualifications (20 points). Experience in providing services similar to those requested and having obtained favorable outcomes (“Favorable outcomes” should be
measured in terms of number of Town Managers placed, length of service of Town Managers placed and level of satisfaction with those Town Managers).

Cost (10 points). Total estimated fees and expenses for the services broken down by task. While cost will be a consideration in the award of the contract, the contract will not necessarily be
awarded to the firm submitting the lowest cost proposal. The Town’s intent is to award the contract to the firm whose proposal is deemed to offer the best overall value and fit to the needs
of the organization.

Dependability (20 points). Ability and commitment to complete the work within the required time frame and proposed cost as evidenced by documentation provided through references.

Sample Materials (10 points). Quality and quantity of recruiting specifications, community/agency profiles, recruitment brochures, invitee letters and announcements provided.

References (20 points). Quality and quantity of client references provided. Evaluation of past recruitments as stated by references in the proposal and of relevance of past experience as
reported in this submission.

Quality of Response (20 points). The overall quality of the response, conformance to format, approach, and its responsiveness to this request for proposal.

PART FOUR GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS ETHICS IN PUBLIC CONTRACTING
By submitting their proposal, all Offerors certify that their proposal is made without collusion or fraud and that they have not offered or received any kickbacks or inducements from any other
Offeror, supplier, manufacturer or sub-contractor in connection with their proposal, and that they have not conferred with any public employee having official responsibility for this procurement
transaction, any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything more than nominal value, present or promised, unless consideration of substantially equal or greater
value was exchanged.

LICENSES AND PERMITS
The Offeror agrees that it has procured all licenses, permits, or other like permission required by law to conduct or engage in the activity requested within this RFP; that it will procure all additional licenses, permits, or like permission required by law during the term of the Contract; and that it will keep such licenses, permits, and permissions in full force and effect during the term of the Contract.

INEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
The Offeror understands and agrees that the relationship of the Offeror to the Town arising out of the Contract shall be that of Independent Contractor. It is understood that the Offeror, or its staff
and employees, are not employees of the Town and are, therefore, not entitled to any benefits. The Offeror shall be responsible for reporting and accounting for all State, Federal, Social Security,
and local taxes where applicable.

PAYMENT
To the Independent Contractor:

a. The Town shall promptly pay for the completed services or delivered goods described in the RFP by the required date. The required payment date shall be either: (1) the date on which payment is due under the terms of the contract, or (2) if a date is not established by the contract, not more than forty-five (45) days after goods or services are received or not more than forty-five (45) days after an invoice is rendered, whichever is later. Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial executions or deliveries to the extent that the contract provides for separate payment for partial execution or delivery. Within twenty (20) days after the receipt of an invoice for goods or services, the Town shall notify the supplier of any defect or impropriety that would prevent payment by the required payment date. If the Town fails to make payment by the required payment date, the Town shall pay any finance charges assess by the supplier that shall not exceed one percent (1%) per month. Where payment is made by mail, the date of the postmark shall be deemed to be the date the payment is
made.

b. Individual Independent Contractors shall provide their Social Security numbers, and proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations shall provide the Town of Front Royal with a Federal Employer Identification number, prior to receiving any payment from the Town.

c. Invoices for items ordered, delivered and accepted shall be submitted by the Independent Contractor directly to this payment address:

Town of Front Royal
Purchasing Department
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630

All invoices shall show the applicable Purchase Order number.

d. The Independent Contractor shall monthly furnish an invoice to the Town for services rendered that month. All goods or services provided under this contract or Purchase Order, that are to be paid for with public funds, shall be billed by the Independent Contractor at the contract price, regardless of which Town department is being billed.

e. Unreasonable Charges. Under certain emergency procurements and for most time and material purchases, final job costs cannot be accurately determined at the time orders are placed. In such cases, Independent Contractors should put on notice that final payment in full is contingent on a determination of reasonableness with respect to all invoiced charges.

Charges which appear to be unreasonable will be researched and challenged, and that portion of the invoice held in abeyance until a settlement can be reached. Upon determining that invoiced charges are not reasonable, the Town shall promptly notify the Independent Contractor, in writing, as to those charges which it considers unreasonable and the basis for the determination. A Independent Contractor may not institute legal action unless a settlement cannot be reached within thirty (30) days of notification. The provisions of this section do not relieve an agency of its prompt payment obligations with respect to those charges which are not in dispute. (Code of Virginia § 2.2-4363).

To Subcontractors:
a. An Independent Contractor awarded a contract under this solicitation is hereby obligated:

(1) To pay the subcontractor(s) within seven (7) days of the Independent Contractor’s receipt of payment from the Town for the proportionate share of the payment received for work performed by the subcontractor(s) under the contract; or (2) To notify the agency and the subcontractor(s), in writing, of the Independent Contractor’s intention to withhold payment and the reason.

b. The Independent Contractor is obligated to pay the subcontractor(s) interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month (unless otherwise provided under the terms of the contract) on all amounts owed by the Independent Contractor that remain unpaid seven (7) days following receipt of payment from the Town, except for amounts withheld as stated in (2) above. The date of mailing of any payment by U.S. Mail is deemed to be payment to the addressee. These provisions apply to each sub-tier contractor performing under the primary contract. An Independent Contractor’s obligation to pay an interest charge to a subcontractor cannot be construed to be an obligation of the Town of Front Royal.

REPORTS
The Independent Contractor shall complete, maintain, and submit to the Town all records and reports and lists of services rendered when such services are rendered.

SERVICES RENDERED
The Independent Contractor shall perform all services to be rendered pursuant to the Contract at the location specified above. The Independent Contractor agrees to maintain all facilities and
equipment used by Independent Contractor under the Contract in clean, sanitary, and safe condition and free from defects of every kind.

TAXES
The Independent Contractor shall pall all County, Town, State and Federal taxes required by law and resulting from the work or traceable thereto, under whatever name levied. Said taxes shall
not be in addition to the Contract price between the Town of Front Royal and the Independent Contractor, as the taxes shall be solely an obligation of the Independent Contractor and not the
Town, and the Town shall be held harmless for same by the Independent Contractor. The Town of Front Royal is exempt from State Sales Tax and Federal Excise Tax. A Tax Exemption
Certificate indicating the Town’s exempt status will be furnished by the Town of Front Royal upon request.

BUSINESS LICENSE REQUIREMENT
If a business is in the Town of Front Royal, it is unlawful to conduct or engage in that business without obtaining a business license.

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION
The Independent Contractor does not and shall not during the performance of the Contract for goods and services in the Commonwealth, knowingly employ an unauthorized alien as defined in
the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

COMPLIANCE WITH STATE LAW
The Independent Contractor shall comply with section 2.2-4311.2 of the Code of Virginia pertaining to foreign and domestic businesses authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth.

TERMINATION FOR CAUSE
The Contract may be terminated by the Town upon fifteen (15) days written notice to the Independent Contractor to the address first named above in the event of substantial failure or default of the Independent Contractor to perform in accordance with the terms hereof through no fault of the Town’s.

TERMINATION FOR CONVENIENCE
The obligation to provide further services under the Contract may be terminated by the Town for its convenience and not for cause upon fifteen (15) days written notice. The Independent Contractor shall be compensated for work performed through the date of termination and for termination expenses, including any expenses directly attributable to termination and for which
the Independent Contractor is not otherwise compensated. Termination expenses shall not, however, include loss profits on services not performed as a result of such termination for
convenience.

NOTICE
Any notice which is required to be given, or which may be given under the Contract, shall be sent to those mailing addresses noted in the first paragraph of the Contract.

NON-ASSIGNABILITY
The Independent Contractor understands that the Contract is a contract with the professional services of the Independent Contractor and that it is made by the Town in reliance on the Independent Contractor’s personal skills and knowledge in the activity to be conducted and as represented by the Independent Contractor. Accordingly, the Contract is non-assignable by the
Independent Contractor without the express written advance permission of the Town.

INSURANCE
The Independent Contractor shall procure and maintain the general liability insurances shown below, with the Town named as Additional Insured, for protection from claims arising out of
performance of services caused by negligent, reckless, or willful error, omission or act for which the Independent Contractor is legally liable. The Independent Contractorshall deliver to the Town,
upon execution of the Contract, certificates of such insurance. Insurance shall provide for coverage effective through the date of the end of the Project.

Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Automobile Liability, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Worker’s Compensation

AMOUNT OF INSURANCE REQUIRED
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 Minimum per Incident
Automobile Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 bodily injury and $1,000,000 property damage
Worker’s Compensation – As required by the Commonwealth of Virginia

INDEMNIFICATION
The Contractor shall indemnify, keep and hold harmless the Town of Front Royal and its members of Council, officers, directors, agents, employees and volunteers against any and all claims of
injuries, death, damage to property, theft, patent claims, suits, liabilities, judgements, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) which may otherwise accrue against the Town in
consequence of the granting of a contract which may otherwise result therefrom, if it shall be determined that the act was caused through negligence or error, or omission of the contractor or
his or her employees, or that of the subcontractor or his or her employees, if any; and the contractor shall, at his or her own expense, appear, defend and pay all charges of attorneys and all costs and other expenses arising therefrom or incurred in connection therewith; and if any judgement shall be rendered against the Town in any such action, the contractor shall, at his or her own expense, satisfy and discharge the same. The contractor expressly understands and agrees that any performance bond or insurance protection required by this contract, or otherwise provided by the contractor shall in no way limit the responsibility to indemnify, keep and save harmless and defend the Town as herein provided. The provisions of this section shall survive the completions,
terminations or expiration of the contract.

ENTIRE CONTRACT
The Contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties pertaining to the subject matter of the Contract and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements and understandings of the parties in connection with the subject matter. No modification of the Contract shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by both parties.

STANDARD OF CARE
The Independent Contractor shall perform the services as described by the Contract expeditiously and diligently and in accordance with the standard of care and skill ordinarily exercised under similar conditions by reputable members of its profession or trade practicing in the same or similar locality within the Commonwealth of Virginia existing as of the date such services are provided and in accordance with all applicable laws, codes, and regulations in effect as of the date such services are provided

ENFORCEMENT
The Contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Virginia. Any action maintained by either party for the enforcement or interpretation of the terms of the Contract shall be filed in the
courts of Warren County, Virginia.

PART FIVE ATTACHMENTS
Any resulting contract will be based on the Town of Front Royal sample contract – Attachment A.

All proposals are to include the Town’s required signature pages – Attachment B.

THIS IS A SAMPLE AGREEMENT THAT WILL BE ENTERED INTO BETWEEN THE TOWN AND THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. THE AGREEMENT IS PART OF THIS SOLICITATION.

THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE TOWN ATTORNEY.

ATTACHMENT A SAMPLE CONTRACT FOR SERVICES
THIS CONTRACT FOR SERVICES is made and entered into this ______ day of __________________, 20_____, by and between THE TOWN OF FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA, a Municipal Corporation, whose address is 102 East Main Street, Front Royal, Virginia 22630 (hereinafter referred to as the “Town”), and INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR., a STATE Corporation, whose street address is INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR ADDRESS, and whose mailing address is SAME (hereinafter called the “Contractor”).

W I T N E S S E T H:
That for and in consideration of the mutual promises contained herein, the Town agrees to purchase, and the Contractor agrees provide the following described services:

EXECUTIVE SEARCH SERVICES
1. Place of Service Performance/Delivery:
FRONT ROYAL, VA 22630

2. Time of Service Delivery: Normal working business hours for this project will be 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise approved by the Town of Front Royal. Work will not be permitted on any Town of Front Royal holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

3. Term of Contract: This Contract shall be in effect beginning with the date of the final signature on the contract and continuing (if not otherwise terminated pursuant to the terms of this agreement) until final approval by the Town of the service performed.

4. Payment: a. The Town shall promptly pay the sum of SUM for the completed services or delivered goods described in Attachment A “Proposal Response” by the required date. The required payment date shall be either: (1) the date on which payment is due under the terms of the contract, or (2) if a date is not established by the contract, not more than forty-five (45) days after goods or services are received or not more than forty-five (45) days after an invoice is rendered, whichever is later. Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial executions or deliveries to the extent that the contract provides for separate payment for partial execution or delivery. Within twenty (20) days after the receipt of
an invoice for goods or services, the Town shall notify the supplier of any defect or impropriety that would prevent payment by the required payment date. If the Town fails to make payment by the required payment date, the Town shall pay any finance charges assess by the supplier that shall not exceed one percent (1%) per month. Where payment is made by mail, the date of the postmark shall be deemed to be the date the payment is made.

b. Individual Contractors shall provide their Social Security numbers, and proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations shall provide the Town of Front Royal with a Federal Employer Identification number, prior to receiving any payment from the City.

c. Invoices for items ordered, delivered and accepted shall be submitted by the Contractor directly to this payment address:

Town of Front Royal
Accounts Payable
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630

All invoices shall show the applicable Purchase Order number.

d. The Contractor shall monthly furnish an invoice to the Town for services rendered that month. All goods or services provided under this contract or Purchase Order, that are to be paid for with public funds, shall be billed by the Contractor at the contract price, regardless of which Town department is being billed.

e. Unreasonable Charges. Under certain emergency procurements and for mote time and material purchases, final job costs cannot be accurately determined at the time orders are placed. In such cases, Contractors should put on notice that final payment in full is contingent on a determination of reasonableness with respect to all invoiced charges. Charges which appear to be unreasonable will be researched and challenged, and that portion of the invoice held in abeyance until a settlement can be reached.

Upon determining that invoiced charges are not reasonable, The Town shall promptly notify the Contractor, in writing, as to those charges which it considers unreasonable and the basis for the determination. A Contractor may not institute legal action unless a settlement cannot be reached within thirty (30) days of notification. The provisions of this section do not relieve an agency of its prompt payment obligations with respect to those charges which are not in dispute. (Code of Virginia § 2.2-4363).

To Subcontractors:
a. A Contractor awarded a contract under this solicitation is hereby obligated:
(1) To pay the subcontractor(s) within seven (7) days of the Contractor’s receipt of payment from the Town for the proportionate share of the payment received for work performed by the subcontractor(s) under the contract; or (2) To notify the agency and the subcontractor(s), in writing, of the Contractor’s intention to withhold payment and the reason.

b. The Contractor is obligated to pay the subcontractor(s) interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month (unless otherwise provided under the terms of the contract) on all amounts owed by the Contractor that remain unpaid seven (7) days following receipt of payment from the Town, except for amounts withheld as stated in (2) above. The date of mailing of any payment by U.S. Mail is deemed to be payment to the addressee. These provisions apply to each sub-tier contractor performing under the primary contract. A Contractor’s obligation to pay an interest charge to a subcontractor cannot be construed to be an obligation of the Town of Front Royal.

5. Reports: The Contractor shall complete, maintain, and submit to the Town all records and reports and lists of services rendered when such services are rendered.

6. Services Rendered: The Contractor shall perform all services to be rendered pursuant to this Contract at the location specified above. The Contractor agrees to maintain all facilities and equipment used by the Contractor under this Contract in clean, sanitary, and safe condition and free from defects of every kind.

7. Licenses and Permits: The Contractor agrees that it has procured all licenses, permits, or other like permission required by law to conduct or engage in the activity provided for in this Contract; that it will procure all additional licenses, permits, or like permission required by law during the term of this Contract; and that it will keep such licenses, permits, and permissions in full force and effect during the term of this Contract.

8. Independent Contractor: The Contractor understands and agrees that the relationship of the Contractor to the Town arising out of this Contract shall be that of independent contractor. It is understood that the Contractor, or its staff and employees, are not employees of the Town and are, therefore, not entitled to any benefits provided employees of the Town. The Contractor shall be responsible for reporting and accounting for all State, Federal, Social Security, and local taxes where applicable.

9. Non-Discrimination: During the performance of this agreement the Contractor agrees as follows:
a. The Contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, sex, natural origin, age, disability, status as a service disabled veteran or any other basis prohibited by state law relating to discrimination in employment, except where there is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary for the normal operation of the Contractor. The Contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices setting forth the provisions of this non-discrimination clause.

b. The Contractor, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Contractor, will state that the Contractor is an equal opportunity employer. The Town of Front Royal does not discriminate against faith-based organizations.

c. Notices, advertisements and solicitations placed in accordance with federal law, rule or regulation shall be deemed sufficient for the purpose of meeting the requirements of this section.

d. The Contractor will include the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs a, b and c in every subcontract or purchase order of over $10,000.00 so that the provisions will be binding upon each sub-contractor or vendor.

10. Compliance with Federal Immigration Law: The Contractor does not, and shall not during the performance of the Contract for goods and services in the Commonwealth, knowingly employ an unauthorized alien as defined in the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

11. Compliance with State Law: The Contractor shall comply with section 2.2-311.2 of the Code of Virginia pertaining to foreign and domestic businesses authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth.

12. Drug-Free Workplace: For the purpose of this section, “drug-free workplace” means a site for the performance of work done in connection with this contract awarded to the Contractor in accordance with this procurement transaction.

During the performance of this contract, the Contractor agrees to:
a. Provide a drug-free workplace for the Contractor’s employees b. Post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or marijuana is prohibited in the Contractor’s workplace and specifying the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition c. State in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Contractor that the Contractor maintains a drug-free workplace d. Include the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs a, b and c in every subcontract or purchase order of over $10,000, so that the provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor.

13. Termination for Cause: This Contract may be terminated by the Town upon fifteen (15) days written notice to the Contractor to the address first named above in the event of substantial failure or default of the Contractor to perform in accordance with the terms hereof through no fault of the Town’s.

14. Termination for Convenience: The obligation to provide further services under this Contract may be terminated by the Town for its convenience and not for cause upon fifteen (15) days written notice. The Contractor shall be compensated for work performed through the date of termination and for termination expenses, including any expenses directly attributable to termination and for which the Contractor is not otherwise compensated. Termination expenses shall not, however, include loss profits on services not performed as a result of such termination for convenience.

15. Notice: Any notice which is required to be given, or which may be given under this Contract, shall be sent to those mailing addresses noted in the first paragraph of this Contract.

16. Non-Assignability: Independent contractor understands that this Contract is a contract with the professional services of the Contractor and that it is made by the Town in reliance on the Contractor’s personal skills and knowledge in the activity to be conducted and as represented by the Contractor. Accordingly, this Contract is non-assignable by the Contractor without the express written advance permission of the Town.

17. Insurance: The Contractor shall procure and maintain the general liability insurances shown below, with the Town names as Additional Insured, for protection from claims arising out of performance of services caused by negligent, reckless, or willful error, omission or act for which the Contractor is legally liable. The Contractor shall deliver to the Town, upon execution of this Agreement, certificates of such insurance. Insurance shall provide for coverage effective through the date of the end of the Project.

Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Automobile Liability, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Worker’s Compensation

18. Amount of Insurance Required:
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 Minimum per Incident
Automobile Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 bodily injury and $1,000,000 property damage
Worker’s Compensation – As required by the Commonwealth of Virginia

19. Indemnification: The Independent contractor shall indemnify, keep and hold harmless the Town of Front Royal and its members of Council, officers, directors, employees and volunteers against any and all third party claims of injuries, death, damage to property, theft, patent claims, suits, liabilities, judgements, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) which may otherwise accrue against the Town in consequence of the granting of a Contract which may otherwise result therefrom, to the extent it shall be determined that the claim was caused through
negligence or error, or omission of the Independent contractor or his or her employees, or that of the Subcontractor or his or her employees, if any; and the Independent contractor shall, to the extent of its obligation above, pay all reasonable charges of attorneys and all costs and other expenses arising therefrom or incurred in connection therewith; and if any judgement shall be rendered against the Town in any such action, the Service Provide shall, to the same extent, at its own expense, satisfy and discharge the same. The Independent contractor expressly understands and agrees that any performance bond or insurance protection required by this Contract, or otherwise provided by the Independent contractor shall in no way limit the responsibility to
indemnify, keep and save harmless and defend the Town as herein provided. The provisions of this section shall survive the completions, terminations or expiration of the Contract.

20. Entire Contract: This Contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties pertaining to the subject matter of this Contract and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements and understandings of the parties in connection with the subject matter. No modification of this Contract shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by both parties.

21. Force Majeure: The Contractor shall not be held responsible for failure to perform the duties and responsibilities imposed by this Contract if such failure is due to fires, riots, rebellions, natural disasters, wars, or an act of God beyond control of the Contractor, and outside and beyond the scope of the Contractor’s then current, by industry standards, disaster plan that make performance impossible or illegal, unless otherwise specified in the Contract.

22. Antitrust: By entering into this Contract, the Contractor conveys, sells, assigns and transfers to the Town of Front Royal all rights, title, and interest in and to all causes of action the Contractor may now have or hereafter acquire under the antitrust laws of the United States or the Commonwealth of Virginia, relating to the goods or services purchased or acquired by the Town of Front Royal under this Contract.

23. Additional Terms and Conditions: The following attachments are made a part of this Contract and are incorporated herein:
(1) Attachment “A” – PROPOSAL RESPONSE
(2) Attachment “B” – PROPOSAL PRICING SCHEDULE

24. Standard of Care: The Contractor shall perform the services herein described expeditiously and diligently and in accordance with the standard of care and skill ordinarily exercised under similar conditions by reputable members of its profession or trade practicing in the same or similar locality within the Commonwealth of Virginia existing as of the date such services are provided and in accordance with all applicable laws, codes, and regulations in effect as of the date such services are provided.

25. Enforcement: This Contract shall in all aspects be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any action maintained by either party for the enforcement or interpretation of the terms of this Contract shall be filed in the courts of Warren County, Virginia. The Contractor shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned parties hereto have made and executed this Contract as the
day and year first above written.

(SEAL) TOWN OF FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA
Attest: ________________________________ BY: _________________________________

Printed Name: _________________________ Type Name: ________________________
Title: _________________________________ Title: _______________________________
Date: _______________________________

(SEAL) INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR:
Attest: _________________________________ ____________________________________
Printed Name: __________________________ BY: ________________________________
Title: __________________________________ Printed Name: ______________________
Title: ______________________________
Date: ______________________________

APPROVED AS TO FORM:
_________________________________________
Douglas W. Napier, Town Attorney
DATE: __________________________________

ATTACHMENT B REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
PLEASE NOTE: STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION (SCC) REGISTRATION
REQUIREMENTS effective July 1, 2010 require that your proposal include the identification number issued by the State Corporation Commission as proof of registration or justification for non-registration, per the requirements in Sections 6.31 and 9.21. Please complete this Proof of Authority to Transact Business in Virginia form and submit it with your proposal. Failure to provide this information or providing inaccurate or purged information shall result in your proposal being rejected.

State Corporation Commission Form
Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Registration Information Pursuant to VPPA §2.2-4311.2, the bidder must include the following information: o is a corporation or other business entity with the following SCC identification number:

-ORo is not a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, registered limited liability partnership, or business trust -ORo is an out-of-state business entity that does not regularly and continuously maintain as part of its ordinary and customary business any employees, agents, offices, facilities, or inventories in Virginia (not counting any employees or agents in Virginia who merely solicit orders that require acceptance outside Virginia before they become contracts, and not counting any incidental presence of the bidder in Virginia that is needed in order to assemble, maintain, and repair goods in accordance with the contracts by which such goods were sold and shipped into Virginia from bidder’s out-of-state location)

-ORo is an out-of-state business entity that is including with this proposal an opinion of legal counsel which accurately and completely discloses the undersigned bidder’s current contacts with Virginia and describes why those contacts do not constitute the transaction of business in Virginia within the meaning of § 13.1-757 or other similar provisions in Titles 13.1 or 50 of the Code of Virginia.

Attach opinion of legal counsel to this form.
o NOTE: Check this circle if you have not completed any of the foregoing options but currently have pending before the SCC and application for authority to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia and wish to be considered for a waiver to allow you to submit the SCC identification number after the due date for proposals. (The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to determine in its sole discretion whether to allow such waiver).

I certify the accuracy of this information.
Signed: Title: Date:

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES NON-COLLUSION AFFIDAVIT
The undersigned bidder or agent, being duly sworn on oath, says that he/she has not, nor has any other member, representative, or agent of the firm, company, corporation or partnership
represented by him, entered in to any combination, collusion or agreement with any person relative to the price to be bid by anyone at such letting nor to prevent any person from bidding
nor to include anyone to refrain from bidding, and that this bid is made without reference to any other bid and without any agreement, understanding or combination with any other person in
reference to such bidding. He/She further says that no person or persons, firms, or corporation has, have or will receive directly or indirectly, any rebate, fee gift, commission or thing of value
on account of such sale.

OATH AND AFFIRMATION
I HEREBY AFFIRM UNDER THE PENALITIES FOR PERJURY THAT THE FACTS AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE FOREGOING BID ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.
Dated this day of , 2019
(Name of Organization)
(Title of Person Signing)
(Signature)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATE OF COUNTY OF
Before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared the above named and swore that the statements contained in the foregoing document are true and correct.
Subscribed and sworn to me this day of , 2019
Notary Public Signature
My Commission Expires: (SEAL)

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The undersigned certifies and warrants that to the best of its knowledge and belief and except as otherwise disclosed, it does not have any organizational conflict of interest, which is defined as a situation in which the nature or work under the contract and the offeror’s organizational, financial, contractual or other interest are such that award of the contract may result in the offeror receiving an unfair competitive advantage, or the offeror’s objectivity in performing the contract work may be impaired. The offeror agrees that if after being awarded it discovers an organizational conflict of interest with respect to the being awarded, it shall make an immediate and full disclosure in writing to the Town of Front Royal which shall include a description of the action which the offeror has taken or intends to take to eliminate or neutralize the conflict.

INDICATE THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE PERSON WHO CAN RESPOND AUTHORITATIVELY TO ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS PROPOSAL (I.E. PROJECT MANAGER).

Dated this day of , 2019
(Name of Organization)
(Title of Person Signing)
(Signature)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATE OF COUNTY OF
Before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared the above named and swore that the statements contained in the foregoing document are true and correct.
Subscribed and sworn to me this day of , 2019
Notary Public Signature
My Commission Expires: (SEAL)

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
In compliance with this Request for Proposals and to all the conditions imposed herein, the undersigned offers and agrees to furnish the services in accordance with the proposal response.

LEGAL NAME & ADDRESS OF FIRM:
By:
Company’s Legal Name Authorized Representative – Signature in Ink
Printed Name:
Title:
Date:
Phone:
Email:
Fax:

In compliance with this RFP, and subject to all the conditions thereof, the signatory offers, if this bid is accepted within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the opening, to furnish any or all of the items and/or services upon which prices are quoted, at the price set opposite each item, to be delivered at the time and place specified herein. The above signature certifies the bidder has read, understands, and agrees to all terms, conditions, and requirements of this bid, and is authorized to contract on behalf of firm named above.

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EDA in Focus

EDA gets McDonald company property as part of settlement agreement

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On Wednesday, October 20, Warren County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Browne verified the EDA’s acquisition of the 41-acre “Happy Creek Road” parcel owned by former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald’s Moveon8 real estate LLC. Acquisition of the undeveloped property assessed at just over a million dollars according to county court records is part of the $9-million-dollar no-fault settlement agreement reached between the EDA, McDonald, and the Harrisonburg Bankruptcy Court handling McDonald’s 2020 bankruptcy filing. The EDA will now be able to market the property as a developable EDA asset. It is located near the intersection of Happy Creek Road and Leach Run Parkway.

Browne said that in addition to receiving full value on the Happy Creek parcel, the EDA was in line to receive a percentage of the sale price of other McDonald assets distributed through the bankruptcy court proceeding. Exactly how close those percentages might get the EDA to the $9-million-dollar settlement figure remains to be seen. It was not immediately clear as to whether the EDA will have an outright full value claim to any other McDonald-held properties or assets.

The FBI and VSP were both involved in the April 2019 search of McDonald’s former office; below, being locked down after her resignation under mounting investigatory pressure by her board on Dec. 20, 2018. Royal Examiner File Photos by Roger Bianchini

McDonald is the central figure in the EDA financial scandal that began unravelling in mid-to-late 2018. She resigned in December 2018 under mounting pressure from her board of directors. She has been accused in civil and criminal court of utilizing her EDA position to misdirect EDA assets to her and others personal benefit. Western District of Virginia federal authorities have taken over the criminal side of the EDA case after a state special prosecutor’s office in Harrisonburg dropped criminal charges against McDonald and as many as 23 co-defendants due to speedy trial concerns as it wrestled with the volume of evidentiary material – estimated at 800,000 to over a million pages at the time. With charges against some defendants originating with the county commonwealth attorney’s office that initially handled the criminal investigation during Brian Madden’s tenure heading the department, failure to meet speedy trial timelines could have led to defense motions for dismissal of criminal charges against the defendants.


Jennifer McDonald booked during state criminal prosecution process in 2019.

On August 31, 2021, federal prosecutors made their initial move, handing down a 34-count indictment against McDonald. Of those 34 counts, 16 were for money laundering, 10 for bank fraud, 7 for wire fraud, and 1 count of aggravated identity theft regarding someone identified as “T.T.” – ITFederal principal Truc Tran perhaps?

ITFederal principal Truc ‘Curt’ Tran on site at EDA parking lot, adjacent to his now floundering construction project, on Dec. 20, 2018, the day Jennifer McDonald resigned as executive director of EDA. Tran expressed distress at the potential of McDonald’s departure at the time. Could Tran, whose $10-million loan for the Royal Phoenix project was the largest single item listed in the initial EDA civil litigation, have now accused McDonald of ‘aggravated identity theft’ regarding EDA financial dealings with him and his company?

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At least two supervisors willing to revisit continuation of coyote bounty program in more open forum

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Seeing the continued awarding of $50 bounties for the random shooting of coyotes in Warren County following a November 10, 2020, work session presentation by County legal and animal control staff seeking an end to the practice as counterproductive to its intent of thinning coyote pack numbers, Royal Examiner recently sought information on the Board of Supervisors apparently unanimous decision to continue the bounty awards.

In early October this reporter emailed Board Chairman Cheryl Cullers with copies to the other four board members in case there was a divergent opinion on the matter that has not, to this reporter’s knowledge, been publicly discussed. The only initial reply was from the board chair: “… but there are those that don’t agree with that information,” Cullers replied of the information presented to the board on November 10, 2020, by Warren County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Laura Gomez and Assistant County Attorney Caitlin Jordan.

Typical Consent Agenda request for approval of a coyote bounty payment. This one was submitted and approved nine months after supervisors were told the program was, not only ineffective but counterproductive to the intent of thinning coyote pack numbers. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini; Coyote Photo Public Domain

“That information” was addressed in Royal Examiner’s November 11, 2020, story “County headed to public hearings to end coyote bounty payments and expansion of loose dog prohibitions”. It included the following information: “The biggest issue with (coyote bounties) is we have documentation showing it’s not effective in any way. And removing the coyote bounty would not prevent people from still being able to protect their property and their livestock … And they’re showing in that letter that it has over a 150-year failure,” Animal Control Officer Gomez noted of the proposed ordinance amendment ending the bounty program.


“That letter” referenced by Gomez to the county supervisors on November 10, 2020, stated among other things that: “Coyote bounties have been tried throughout the United States for more than 150 years. There is not a single documented instance of a bounty

program temporarily or permanently reducing coyote populations or livestock depredation problems,” Michael L. Fies of VDGIF (Va. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries) wrote in response to a November 2016 inquiry by Bath County Animal Control officials included in Tuesday night’s agenda packet,” Royal Examiner reported at the time.

WCSO Animal Control Officer Laura Gomez told the supervisors on Nov. 10, 2020, that 150 years of data indicates bounties have not helped reduce coyote numbers anywhere, at any time; and in fact, have the opposite impact of increasing female coyote reproductive cycles.

And it was not simply the abandonment of bounties, but the implementation of what was called more “successful targeted control” programs in place of bounties, suggested at the state level that was brought to the supervisors late last year:

“Since coyote bounties are ineffective, our Department has consistently recommended against these programs in favor of targeted control efforts around farms with a history of coyote damage. This approach has been successfully used by USDA Wildlife Services to reduce livestock losses in other portions of the state,” VDGIF’s Fies wrote in the above-referenced 2016 letter to Bath County officials presented to Warren County’s elected officials by animal control and legal staffs in late 2020.

It might be noted that this reporter’s headline on the referenced story on that November 10, 2020, presentation on coyote bounty programs contained one glaring inaccuracy – “County headed to public hearings to end coyote bounty payments (and a related animal control issue on dogs running loose in the county). For no public hearing was there to be, nor to this reporter’s knowledge, any open work session or meeting discussion by the board of the information it was presented with by county staff on November 10, 2020, nor of any expressed citizen disagreement with that information.

Rather, on January 5, 2021, coyote bounties were presented for continuation as part of the Consent Agenda for matters considered “routine business” not requiring public discussion or scrutiny by the board prior to a vote of approval. And while other Consent Agenda items were pulled for discussion that evening, continuing the coyote bounty program was not one of them.

But that could be poised to change. Contacted about the approval process, first Board Chairman Cullers expressed a willingness to revisit the issue. “I would be glad to have a future discussion on this issue. I understand the side that feels it is not effective, but there are those that don’t agree with that information. Again I will be glad to readdress the issue,” Cullers replied to this reporter’s emailed inquiry about the initial approval process.

WC Board Chair Cheryl Cullers has expressed a willingness to revisit the bounty issue in a more public forum. But where do her colleagues, pictured below at the Nov. 10, 2020, work session discussion of the coyote bounty program, stand on the issue?

And “readdress” would seem a wise course for this board majority. Because that initial approval process, essentially done out of the public eye, other than the vote to continue it without a public hearing or public discussion other than one meeting public comment favoring continuation of the bounties that Cullers cited, seems to run contrary to the process of a board majority carried into office over a year and a half ago on campaign promises of ending political “business as usual” out of the public eye – a process cited as contributing to the EDA financial scandal the county is still recovering from.

In fact, we reached out a second time to North River Supervisor Delores Oates following her comment at the October 5 Board of Supervisors meeting to County Administrator Ed Daley regarding the effectiveness of air purification machines the County is pondering the purchase of for use in county government buildings. – “We want facts, not opinions,” Oates told Daley of a final decision on the air purification device purchase for Warren County Government buildings.

Supervisor Oates stands by her ‘facts, not opinions’ statement and added her willingness to revisit the coyote bounty issue. She pointed to other issues like COVID pandemic ramifications and the County’s IT security breach as distracting the board from further exploration of alternatives to the coyote bounty system.

And yes, facts, as they are available, would be valuable in ascertaining the effectiveness of the air purification machines in limiting the spread of contagious viral or other airborne illnesses. But why not the same standard of “facts, not opinions” in the decision to continue a coyote bounty program found locally, state-wide, and nationally to be counterproductive to its intent of thinning coyote packs anywhere over 150 years of experience?

And Oates too expressed a willingness to revisit the issue prior to publication.

“I would be happy to discuss. If memory serves me correctly, there were no alternatives offered to control the population of coyotes at that presentation. I believe we postponed a decision to learn more about what options were available to reduce the coyote population,” Oates responded to our email inquiry.

“I stand on my facts, not opinions statement,” she added, pointing to myriad other issues the County has faced in the past year: “On this topic, we didn’t revisit as I suspect many other issues have taken precedent. With COVID and the IT breach, the coyote topic didn’t seem urgent. I am not opposed to revisiting the alternatives to bounties in the near term,” Oates wrote Royal Examiner, adding, “Perhaps we needed to understand what targeted control meant. I will be honest it’s been almost a year since we heard the presentation. We wanted to understand what the cost was to farmers with a targeted control approach. I know there were lingering questions which is why we just didn’t eliminate the program.”

And with a perhaps building board consensus, it appears the county supervisors may be revisiting the coyote bounty issue, and exploring alternatives such as those referenced “targeted control efforts around farms with a history of coyote damage” that Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Michael L. Fies referenced in his 2016 letter on the subject to Bath County officials. As we told Supervisors Cullers and Oates during our discussion, it seems counterintuitive to continue to pay people in a bounty program cited by wildlife professionals as not only ineffective but achieving the opposite effect of often increasing coyote numbers, rather than reducing them.

And if there are citizens who disagree with those conclusions of wildlife professionals, it would be nice to publicly hear what facts, if any, those disagreements are based upon.

See the full November 10, 2020, presentation and discussion in the linked Warren County Work Session video Nov 10, 2020 Board of Supervisors Work Session – Warren County, VA (swagit.com):

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Local Government

County Planning Commission reviews Fire Department Capital Improvement Plan, also faces upsurge in permit activity

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The Warren County Planning Commission met on October 13 in a work session to review a Capital Improvement Plan submission for 2021-2025 for the County Fire and Emergency Services Department. Chief James Bonzano told the Commission that calls for service for 2020, the last complete year, increased by over 3%, continuing a trend that began in 2013. This increase impacts response times, budget costs, and equipment availability, he explained. Calls were split between Fire, at 14%, and EMS (Emergency Medical Service), at 86%. EMS vehicles are called out more than 4 times as often as fire apparatus, have longer runs, and as a result, wear out that much sooner.

The National Standards for fire department equipment govern when it should be placed on the reserve list or removed from service. According to Chief Bonzano, the current fleet has 18 units of its 65 that are over 15 years old, and two over 25 years. In Warren County, there is currently no capacity to place vehicles in reserve. The chief also identified facility improvements needed, live-fire training, and firefighter cancer prevention as priorities in the submission. The Chief oversees a nearly $6 million annual combined budget.

Several commissioners suggested ways to extend budgets by alternative financing or leasing. The Chief acknowledged he is looking into these mechanisms but cautioned that many of them assume a fleet that allows for residual values when turning in a vehicle at the end of the lease. Much of the current fleet is far past the age where it would have any residual value as used equipment. The Fire/EMS Department is also pressed for volunteers – not only operational but associates – helpers of all kinds, including fundraisers. The Fire and Rescue Services capital investment submission will now be fed into the County’s budget process.

Fire Chief James Bonzano II, left, and Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico explain the Fire and Rescue Department’s Capital Improvement request to the County Planning Commission. The Department faces funding challenges as the workload grows.


 

The regular Planning Commission meeting followed immediately after the work session, and the commission considered two Conditional Use permits (CUP) requests.

Terra Site Constructors, LLC, is requesting a Conditional Use Permit for a contractor storage yard at 6986 Winchester Road in the North River Magisterial District. The property is zoned Industrial (I). Planning Director Joe Petty reviewed the recommendations for approval of the request for the commission members. There were no public comments on the proposal, so Commission Chairman Robert Myers closed the public hearing. The site will primarily be used for the temporary storage of heavy equipment. After a brief discussion, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the permit. The request will now go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Jake Johnson, representing Terra Site Constructors LLC, takes questions from the County Planning Commission. Terra Site Constructors seeks to locate a storage yard on Winchester Road.

 

Gordon Lee Birkhimer has requested a Conditional Use Permit for a short-term tourist rental for his property at 52 Forest View Drive, an Agriculturally zoned property in the Fork Magisterial District. Mr. Birkhimer is planning a sailboat trip around the world and expects to be absent for up to two years. He has engaged a professional management firm to oversee the rental activity, and a local citizen to do maintenance and upkeep.

When Chairman Jones opened the floor for public comment, Pamela Rhodes addressed the commissioners and outlined her opposition to the permit. As a 30-year resident of the neighborhood, she expressed the opinion that the applicant would have no control over what kind of people would be renting the property and as an absent property owner would not care. She was opposed to long or short-term rental for the property. In addition, one neighboring property owner, Phyllis Wright, had written to the planning department and opposed the permit being issued. Her concerns were for personal safety, fire danger, and the potential for crime.

Resident Pamela Rhodes explains her opposition to a short-term tourist rental in the Massanutten Farms Subdivision.

 

Once the Public hearing was closed, Vice Chairman Hugh Henry commented that the community’s experience with short-term tourist rentals has been very good – an asset in a neighborhood, particularly since strict rules govern the issuance of a permit. Tourist rentals must be well maintained or guests won’t rent them. A long-term renter is a much greater risk, since a property owner can rent his property to anyone he chooses, and neighbors have no recourse. Management companies do generally perform background checks, and a written set of guidelines in the property management plan assure that guests know what the rules are.

Given the growing experience with the issuance of short-term tourist rental CUPs and the concerns of neighbors, Vice Chairman Henry asked the applicant if he would agree to two additional conditions: A prohibition against the use of ATVs on the property or roads around it, and a prohibition on discharging firearms. The applicant agreed. The commission then voted unanimously to recommend approval. The request will now go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

The commission faces a steep climb at its November meeting with 10 CUP requests for a variety of uses, including short-term tourist rentals, a cluster housing development, an Outdoor Recreation Operation, two Rural Events Facilities, a gunsmithing service, and a campground, as well as two proposed Text Amendment changes to the Warren County Code Chapter 180. Commissioners approved authorizations to advertise all these requests.

Planning Director Joe Petty told the commission that the Comprehensive Plan review work sessions will resume in January, and he thanked the commissioners for their time and work so far on the new plan. Meantime, the Planning Department will be meeting with the contracting firm that is helping with the rewrite to prepare for the next steps.

Chairman Myers then adjourned the meeting.

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County seeks Town to jointly explore regional water alliance

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While the Front Royal Town Council was failing to gather a quorum to conduct its work session slated to follow a 6 p.m. Finance and Audit Committee meeting at Town Hall, across town at the Warren County Government Center several town officials including Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Leidich and Public Works Director Robbie Boyer, were present to hear a presentation by the Frederick Water Authority to a work session of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Board Chair Cheryl Cullers noted the invitation extended to, not only town staff, but its elected officials at last month’s Liaison Committee meeting, to hear the presentation on what appears to be a state-and-federal government promoted move toward regional water authorities.

“I’m not trying to tell the Town what to do – I want them to be a part of this,” Cullers said of a cooperative move into an altered water-sewer utility relationship that could be of mutual benefit to both municipalities, particularly over the long haul of future development on the county’s north side.

Warren County Board Chair Cheryl Cullers made it clear she hopes the County and Town move forward together to explore participation in a regional water authority. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini


Cullers noted that several council members have stated the intention of watching the County video of the presentation in playing catch up. And what town officials did or will hear is very interesting as to long-range planning for regional growth and provision of cost-efficient water and sewer service. For while the Town of Front Royal has its own central water-sewer utility, it is dealing with what was termed “100-year-old infrastructure” in some areas and a limited and now oft-threatened by solid waste-fueled destructive algae blooms, water supply, the Shenandoah River. The Frederick Water Authority on the other hand is in the midst of creating new infrastructure for what appears to be a massive underground water source, while entertaining a change in its structural documentation to extend its reach beyond the boundaries of Frederick County and the City of Winchester to adjacent counties including Warren and Clarke.

Frederick Water Authority Executive Director Eric Lawrence told county officials that the Frederick County Board of Directors was positive in reception of exploring the idea of expanding the water authority into a regional operation across county lines. As illustrated in power point below, Lawrence noted the Frederick Water Authority’s access to 4 billion gallons of water, enough reserve for a year of use by its current customer base.

Executive Director Eric Lawrence outlined the Frederick Water Authority’s existing parameters, structure and infrastructure. That structure includes independence from the Frederick County government, though it is a relationship that currently includes the Frederick County Supervisors appointing the water authority’s board of directors. Lawrence noted that like municipal utilities, the Frederick Water Authority is a non-profit operation with its fees going back into the supporting infrastructure. A cost-comparison showed favorable numbers on average residential charges in the region. And Lawrence noted that potential expansion into adjacent counties, further expanding the customer base would poise the operation to continue to offer excellent rates with a massive water supply with redundancy and backup within that water supply base.

Warren County, along with Clarke County, has expressed interest in a regional water authority based out of the existing Frederick Water Authority. And thus far Frederick County’s response has been positive, Lawrence told the Warren supervisors. Below, long-tenured Happy Creek Supervisor Tony Carter, maroon shirt upper right, pointed to aspects of the Rt. 522/340 North Corridor Agreement that might prevent Warren’s participation in a regional water utility authority without the agreement of the town government.

However, Happy Creek Supervisor Tony Carter pointed to an old written aspect of the Route 522 North Corridor Agreement that saw the Town of Front Royal extend its central water-sewer utility into Warren County’s Route 340/522 North Corridor to facilitate industrial and commercial tax-base expansion in the county’s northside. That “Sanitation Authority” aspect of the Corridor Agreement could seem to legally prohibit shopping for better water-sewer utility rates by Warren County on its northside. However, were the Town to agree to throw into the regional water concept with Warren County, seeing benefits to its own future operations and expenses, such a legal blockage could evaporate.

North River Supervisor Delores Oates noted recent experience had shown that working at odds with each other was in neither the County, nor Town’s best interest.

“I’m just saying that it’s easier to say than to do,” Carter said of a joint move of the Town and County governments toward a regional water authority that could create a major realignment of how the Town’s water-sewer utility operates.

North River Supervisor Delores Oates said a joint County-Town exploration of participating in an expanded, regional Frederick Water Authority seemed a logical path forward. Below, Carter said he was just noting that sometimes talking municipal cooperation was easier than achieving it.

See details of the Frederick Water Authority operations and future potential in an expanding regional format, along with its implications on utility costs on both sides of the town-county line, in the first hour-and-six-minute power point presentation and Q&A in the County work session video.

A cost comparison of current residential utility rates in the region.

Following that regional water authority presentation and discussion the board adjourned to Closed/Executive Session to discuss EDA litigation and related matters including recovery of EDA assets. And on the back end of that hour-and-fifteen-minute Closed Session, see a detailed presentation on the operations, costs and revenue streams of the County’s Parks and Recreation Department; followed by County Administrator Ed Daley’s summary of options on Compensation Board Bonus pay related to COVID pandemic operations and County payments to non-Comp Board covered employees.

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EDA in Focus

EDA completes audits for 2018 and 2019; 2020 audit is next

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The Board of Directors of the Front Royal and Warren County Economic Development Authority accepted its audited financial statements for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, today, October 5, 2021. The audit of the financial statements was conducted by the firm of Brown Edwards, CPAs of Harrisonburg, VA.

“We have received the final outside audits conducted for 2018 and 2019,” said EDA Board Chairman Jeff Browne.  “This was a huge effort on the part of Brown Edwards, and they have done very good work in challenging circumstances. Getting these two financial audits completed is a major step forward in putting the EDA’s past difficulties behind us. Now we can better focus on economic development issues to benefit the community.”

“The auditors’ letter points to three areas for improvement of internal controls,” Browne said. “It was important to make each improvement recommended by the CPAs, and we have done just that. The Warren County staff now administer the check-writing duties, collection of rents, and have layers of approvals for expenses within EDA and the County administration that were not there three years ago.”

The audited financial statements show that, at the end of the fiscal year 2019, the EDA’s total net assets were $38,036,737, and its net liabilities were $44,575,435, resulting in a deficit net position of $6,538,698. The EDA will work with Warren County’s auditors starting with the fiscal year 2020, which audit can now be undertaken.



Final Financial Statement 10-5-21

Final Letter to governance

 The EDA Board of Directors will have their next regular monthly board meeting via Zoom on Friday, October 29, 2021, at 9 a.m.

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Local Government

Outside agency, departmental updates dominate County Board’s attention

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The Warren County Board of Supervisors had a light action agenda – a six-item Consent Agenda – but a full morning of outside and County agency operational and personnel updates before adjourning to a 10 a.m. Closed Session for information on Economic Development Authority litigation. Following that approximate half-hour Executive Session, the board got the bad news from County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico that the County was not a recipient of SAFER grant funding recently announced through the State.

Maiatico explained that perhaps already being the recipient of grant funding for the Rivermont Fire Station, being near the front of the line for additional grant funding might be a longshot at this point. However, he added that there appeared to be funds remaining under the recent SAFER grant umbrella, so the department hasn’t given up hope some additional funding might come the County’s way for coming operational needs or equipment needs.

Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico says County Emergency Services hasn’t given up hope some SAFER grant funding might not still find its way the County’s way. Below, Schools Superintendent Chris Ballenger outlined thus-far successful efforts to minimize pandemic exposure through the school system. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

Prior to the Closed Session County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Ballenger gave a detailed update on the school system’s status into this 2021 semester in the second year of COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic precautions. The report was positive, with no system schools on the state “outbreak” list. Responding to a question, Ballenger explained that approximately 40 students on a quarantine list were a result of home exposures, and precautions to prevent those out-of-school exposures from being carried into the schools. Families were urged to do due diligence on potential home exposures, to help the system “Protect Instruction” as the semester progresses. The primary goal being to keep as many students as possible in school and safe from Coronavirus exposure, along with their instructors.


The system, like others, is dealing with a shortage of substitute or replacement instructors due to the evolving Coronavirus situation with the more contagious Delta-variant-fueled Phase 4 remaining an issue.

A presentation by People Inc. representatives tied into a follow up by Warren County Department of Social Services Director Jon Martz. Martz pointed out he had me with People Inc. reps the previous days to coordinate efforts moving forward as economic hardships are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Marshall Williams at the podium, People Inc.’s Samantha Barber explains efforts to help with living situations for those struggling economically in the region, including those trying to successfully rehabilitate after their release from jail. Below, WCDSS Director Jon Martz introduces new DSS Job Developer Brooke McClung.

Martz made one of several new staff introductions to the board, from his department Job Developer Brooke McClung. However, he also noted the loss of DSS staffer Samantha Edwards to another jurisdiction closer to her home. Edwards is leaving her county position tomorrow to become the DSS Assistant Director in Rappahannock County.

Others staffers headed this way introduced to the board Tuesday morning included Human Resources Director Jane Meadows and Finance Director Matt Robertson. Kayla Darr was noted for her work filling gaps in Admin during this time of staffing transitions.

County Administrator Ed Daley, left, reminds town officials they are invited to next Tuesday’s 6 p.m. Board Work Session for a regional water presentation by Frederick County officials.

During his County Administrator’s Report, Ed Daley reminded town officials of next week’s 6 p.m., Tuesday, October 12, work session in which the County will receive a Regional Water initiative presentation by Frederick County officials. Town Council and key staff have been invited to consider potential advantages of both municipalities moving in a regional water provider direction.

See these discussions and other business, including the monthly VDOT update, and a work session presentation on operations and staffing at the County Public Works Department, in the County video.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Oct
21
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
Oct
23
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
1:00 pm Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
This is a painting class for children 8 years old and up. Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes of Creativity. Date: Saturday, October 23,[...]
Oct
24
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
6:30 pm Benefit Concert for Front Royal ... @ Riverton Church
Benefit Concert for Front Royal ... @ Riverton Church
Oct 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Benefit Concert for Front Royal Police @ Riverton Church
Riverton Church is hosting a benefit concert featuring the Mr. Ron Dye (director) and the Riverton Church Symphonic Wind Orchestra as well as Yesterday Swing Orchestra. Free Admission: Offering taken to benefit the Front Royal[...]
Oct
25
Mon
11:00 am Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Kindergarten and First Grade. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: Ages 5 and 6 Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 2nd and 3rd. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 7 and 8 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]