By Kaitlin Mayhew -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- The Town Council voted 5-0 to appoint Douglas W. Napier as town attorney at their meeting on Monday.
He was elected for a two-year term beginning in Nov. 1, 2011.
That date will mark the end of George M. Sonnett Jr.'s term as interim town attorney that began July 11. The previous town attorney, Thomas R. Robinett, left in July to become town manager and attorney in Onancock. He had served as Front Royal town attorney since March 5, 2007.
Sonnett was previously the assistant town attorney.
Council also voted 5-0 to authorize the town attorney to move forward with the 1,225,000 purchase of the BB&T building at 102 E. Main St.
The decisions were 5-0 as Councilman Thomas E. Conkey was absent.
Council voted unanimously, as well, to approve the aquisition of real estate for portions of right-of-way for Leach Run Parkway, carrying forward a plan to bring the community its first large-scale planned neighborhood.
The request from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) included purchase of a 0.345-acre property for $20,000, the house and lots at 1425 Happy Creek Road for $181,000, the house and lots at 1433 Happy Creek Road $460,000, a 23.25-acre parcel on John Marshall Highway for $300,000.
The town will also absorb costs associated with disconnecting the existing drain field on one of the parcels, construction of a sidewalk, radon tests and home inspection of the structure.
"I would like to commend the town on this, I think it is money well spent," said Councilman N. Shae Parker at the meeting. "It is now only three properties after this that the EDA is still negotiating with and I think it is a huge step forward."
The council also voted 5-0 to approve a resolution to support the extension of the HUBZone, or the Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The resolution will promote economic development in distressed areas in the town and county. It is linked to the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, and helps small businesses in both urban and rural communities with HUBZone certification gain preferential access to federal funds.
The request to extend the zones was sent by Jennifer McDonald of the EDA. Without the approval, the HUBZone designation could have dissolved as of Oct. 1.
If Front Royal had lost its certification it would have resulted in a loss of revenue and a
minimum of 30 jobs within the town and county.