Warren County unaffected by district dissolution

Warren County’s Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District remains mostly unaffected by a judge’s order dissolving the adjacent district created a year ago.

Judge Alex R. Iden entered an order Wednesday in Clarke County Circuit Court abolishing the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District. The Clarke County Board of Supervisors sought to dissolve the district when they discovered its creation would pose an unfair burden on property owners through a special tax assessment.

Most of the Shenandoah Farms subdivision lies in Warren County. A much smaller section exists in Clarke County. Warren County established the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District in 1996 with the intent to collect a special assessment from property owners and to use the money to improve and maintain roads, storm drains and other facilities.

Warren County’s Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress said Thursday the judge’s decision should not affect Warren County and its operation of the existing sanitary district.

“Other than accessing portions of the Warren County sanitary district through some very small segments of roadways in Clarke County, we really don’t have to travel over the Clarke County roads, nor had we been maintaining,” Childress said.

Clarke and Warren officials had at one time discussed the possibility of Warren County managing the roads in the neighboring district, Childress said.

“Nothing was every formalized,” Childress said. “No agreements were ever reached. That was likely part of their initial investigation into setting the sanitary district up.”

Childress said he expects Warren County to continue to receive phone calls from Clarke County residents about road problems or maintenance, especially during the winter. Childress said he would forward those calls on to the Clarke County property owners.

Clarke County supervisors initially pushed for the locality’s first sanitary district and asked Warren County officials to provide advice on creating and operating the special tax area. Iden ordered the creation of the district on Oct. 21, 2015. This summer Clarke County supervisors adopted the resolution asking the court to dissolve the district.

Warren County’s district includes approximately 2,800 lots and 40-plus miles of roads. Clarke County’s district includes approximately 4 miles of roads and about 200 lots, Childress said. Warren County also has employees assigned to handle maintenance for the sanitary district as well as contracts for snow removal and paving.

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