County sets panel for sanitary district

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County leaders put together a panel Tuesday to help oversee operations in a new sanitary district.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to appoint James Barnes, Charles Gornowich, Kenneth Harvey, Erin MacMillan and James D. Spurlock Jr. to the Lake Front Royal Sanitary District Advisory Board. Each member serves a two-year term set to expire Dec. 31, 2018. Supervisors voted after discussion of the membership in closed session.

Each panel member lives in and owns property in Lake Front Royal – a qualification agreed upon by supervisors before seeking applications. Barnes and Gornowich were among several dozen Lake Front Royal residents who signed a petition last year seeking  approval by Warren County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Napier to create the sanitary district. State code required the signatures of at least 50 qualified voters living in the area to create a sanitary district.

Earlier in the meeting supervisors approved the bylaws for the advisory board. The panel’s members will have the responsibility of picking officers and the advisory board will provide input to the supervisors and county staff regarding the district’s budget, tax rate, road system capital improvement plan and facility maintenance.

The circuit court issued an order Jan. 21 that established the sanitary district. Dozens of property owners in the district sought the supervisors’ support for a petition to ask the court to dissolve the district. Supervisors declined to the support the petition.

In response, Lake Front Royal Property Owners Association, whose members opposed the creation of the sanitary district, declined to sign a management agreement with the Board of Supervisors. The association plans to run the subdivision until Dec. 31 at which point they intend to turn over maintenance of the roads and common properties to the county. Supervisors already have adopted the district’s fiscal 2017 budget and tax rate.

The county took applications for the advisory board through October and conducted background checks before coming up with recommended members.

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