Council waives $10K in fees for developer, votes down aid for theater

NEW MARKET – At its Monday meeting, Town Council unanimously approved a waiver of $10,000 worth of water and sewer connection fees for Shenandoah ALF II LLC, owners of a forthcoming assisted living community in town.

The vote came after an amendment added the discussion and consideration to the meeting agenda. The rationale behind the waiver is that the facility would positively impact the community and should therefore be considered for leniency when it comes to fees, said Town Planner Chad Neese.

Town Manager Mike Ritchie further explained Council’s decision.

“It certainly is not anything unusual for the town to participate in a project that results in an upgrade to our own infrastructure,” Ritchie said.

Also at the meeting, council members unanimously appointed Town Planner Chad Neese and Town Manager Mike Ritchie as New Market’s Freedom of Information Act officers.

Council voted down – four votes to two – a motion to bestow $5,000 to the aiding of Schultz Theatre. Councilmen Scott Wymer, Gary Comer, Eddie Litten and Vice Mayor John Blosser voted nay, while Councilwoman Peggy Harkness and Councilman Tim Palmer voted yea.

Mayor Douglas Bradley also assigned committees for the coming year. The town’s Tourism, Economic Development and Historical Preservation Committee was split into two committees by establishing the Economic Development Committee as an independent committee. Bradley explained his reasoning.

“I think the Economic Development Committee is a focus that we must concentrate on,” he said.

Harkness will chair the town’s Finance and Personnel Committee, formerly headed by the departing Litten. Joining her will be Councilman-Elect Peter Hughes, who begins his term July 1, and Palmer.

Hughes was appointed as chairman for the newly-independent Economic Development Committee alongside committee members Palmer and Wymer.

The Public Works Committee’s members will remain the same.

The town’s Public Safety Committee will continue to be chaired by Comer. Blosser and Harkness will serve as members.

Palmer will remain chair of the Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, with Hughes and Comer serving as members.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or