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Council supports increase of fees

Ordinance change would hike charge for refuse collection

By Ben Orcutt -- borcutt@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The Town Council has endorsed an ordinance amendment that increases refuse collection fees for commerical-sized containers next month.

The Monday vote was 5-1, with Councilman N. Shae Parker voting against the proposal that as of Sept. 1 increases the fees for refuse collection of an 8-cubic-yard container from $230 to $267 per month for twice-weekly pickup and from $180 to $217 per month for once-weekly pickup service.

Although the ordinance change is the result of a compromise with Warren County for fees the county charges for accepting commercial refuse, Parker said he thought the system was flawed from the beginning.

"I feel that the system, when it was being installed, was flawed from the beginning and I don't think that it's fair that the businesses in our community continually subsidize the services that the citizens receive and that's why I'm gonna vote against this one," Parker said.

While he understands Parker's misgivings, Councilman Thomas E. Conkey said the agreement reached with the county could have been worse.

"I think we're dissatisfied with the result, but it could have been a whole lot worse, and I think in fairness to the county, they do incur costs on our behalf and I think the rate that we negotiated with them is a reasonable one and I think we're equally dissatisfied with the rate, so I will vote for it," Conkey said.

In other Monday business, the Town Council voted unanimously to:

* Approve for the Aug. 20 liaison committee meeting with the Board of Supervisors an agenda that includes discussion on how the town and county planning commissions can work together; the town's desire to have more support from the county building inspector; the funding formula for the Front Royal-Warren Economic Development Authority; and an update on the McKay property.

* Affirm on its first reading following a public hearing a franchise to Virginia Regional Transit for continued operation of the Front Royal Area Transit (FRAT) passenger bus.

* Appoint Arnold M. Williams Jr. to a four-year term on the Planning Commission, with the term beginning Sept. 1 and expiring Aug. 31, 2013, and to appoint Nancy R. LeHew to complete an unexpired term on the Board of Architectural Review, with the term ending Nov. 13, 2012.

* Accept a donation through the Front Royal Police Foundation of a $1,000 ballistic blanket donated by Wayne and Sue Sealock to be used by the police department's emergency services team during high-risk situations.

* Approve request from Comcast to extend its office lease for another 12 months.

* Approve a $35,895.37 bid from Webster & Webster of Verona to place a fence around the water treatment plant.

* Approve a $120,780 bid from Prism Contractors & Engineers of Yorktown for the inspection and survey of the town's sanitary sewer manholes.

* Accept a $37,290 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant from the Office of Justice Programs Recovery Act, with no matching funds required and the Warren County Sheriff's Office receiving $12,176 of the funds.

* Approve an additional $22,750 for mobile data terminals to be placed in police cars and licensing, with a match of $5,687.50 to be taken from the Police Department's federal asset seizure funds and for the $17,062.50, once received, to be placed in the department's grant-matching line item.

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