Supervisors debate sanitary district panel makeup

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County leaders debated this week on who should serve on a panel representing the Lake Front Royal Sanitary District.

The Board of Supervisors plans to appoint property owners who also live in the sanitary district to serve on an advisory committee. The panel would assist the county as it runs the sanitary district. At its work session the board discussed the panel’s membership.

Chairwoman Linda Glavis recalled from a previous work session that Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress said the board needs input from property owners, and supervisors wouldn’t want to make decisions for the residents who live in the neighborhood.

“It’s my feeling that they should be a property owner and also live in Lake Front Royal,” Glavis said.

Vice Chairman Archie Fox said he agreed with Glavis. Fox and Glavis were the only supervisors who supported a push by a majority of surveyed property owners who wanted to dissolve the sanitary district. A group of more than 50 residents, many of whom do not own property in the neighborhood, petitioned the court last year to create the district.

Happy Creek District Supervisor Tony Carter asked if the Lake Front Royal Property Owners Association selects residents or property owners for its board of directors. Supervisors did not have that information.

Glavis asked Carter if he felt property owners who don’t live in the sanitary district should serve. Carter said property owners have a vested interest even if they live outside the district.

Carter suggested that supervisors decide the committee membership from the applications the county receives from people wanting to serve.

“Well, I’m in the minority on this I can tell,” Glavis said.

“I wasn’t thinking that deep when I said property owner,” Childress said. “I was thinking someone that has interest in the subdivision.”

North River District Supervisor Daniel Murray Jr. said his property owners association requires that members own their homes. Murray voiced support for appointing property owners, regardless of where they live, to the advisory committee. Shenandoah District Supervisor Thomas Sayre sided with Carter and Murray. The three supervisors rejected the effort to abolish the sanitary district.

Glavis said the board would then require applicants to serve on the advisory committee to own property but not necessarily live in the sanitary district. County Attorney Dan Whitten said he would prepare a draft of the advisory committee bylaws for supervisors to approve. Bylaws would include a provision that committee members can only miss a certain number of meetings – a rule that might make it difficult for property owners who live far from the county to serve on the panel, Whitten explained. The committee will consist of five members.

County Administrator Doug Stanley said the advisory panel could handle the calls from residents and property owners regarding any concerns. The panel then would pass the concerns on to county officials in charge of the district.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com.