Town sells former police headquarters

FRONT ROYAL – The town has sold the former home of its police department for less than half its assessed value but will soon see tax revenue from the property.

The Town Council voted Monday to change the fiscal 2018 budget to reflect the sale of the property at 24 W. Main St., for $275,000. The town plans to pay $22,000 of the total to the real estate agent who helped sell the property. The remaining $252,000 goes into the town’s contingency fund for future use at council’s discretion. The buyer is listed as Linden Brew Krew LLC, Town Attorney Doug Napier stated in an email Tuesday.

Warren County online real estate information shows the last assessment valued the property at $592,700 including $441,400 for the improvements. The building was constructed in 1969, according to the records.

The property served as a U.S. post office before the police department turned the building into its headquarters. The police department used the building until a few years ago when exposed asbestos forced the town to move the agency into the former Warren County Sheriff’s Office facility. The town also accelerated the work to design and build a new headquarters for the police department at Kendrick Lane and Monroe Avenue.

In October, the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the sale of the property. The resolution allowed council to accept or reject the best bid received for the final sale of the property. At the time, Jerry Welcome and several business partners offered to buy the property and turn the building into a restaurant and brewery, touting that the venture would create jobs and bring the town more tax revenue.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council voted to:

• Approve on a second and final reading an ordinance to conditionally vacate part of 16th Street and two, unimproved alleys at 1521 N. Royal Ave., to David and Jean Butler. The ordinance states that each of the five, quarter-acre lots created by the vacation of the right of way along Belmont Avenue meet all town code requirements as stated in David Butler’s statement of intent dated Nov. 11, 2016.

• Approve and accept a deed of gift of conservation easement and resolution from Llewellyn LLC of approximately 40 acres of property located on U.S. 340-522 and along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River with the condition that the plat be revised to conform to the Planning Commission’s recommendation to eliminate Area B, and that council acknowledges the easement conforms to the town’s comprehensive plan.

• Implement a Nov. 9, 2009 resolution to abandon an undeveloped right of way and authorize the conveyance of an undeveloped portion of West 8th Street to William M. Biggs and William J. Biggs. The resolution authorized the mayor to execute a quitclaim deed to the Biggs for an unimproved and unused portion of the street in return for payment to the town by the Biggs for $30,000. During the same time, Biggs filed a claim with the town for $2,587 in property damage to his fence and gate during the installation of a storm sewer. Council approved the payment of the claim to the Biggs for $2,587, deducted from the $30,000 owed to the town. Vice Mayor Eugene Tewalt said this matter came up during his tenure as mayor but “got lost in the shuffle.”