Lake Front Royal to continue as sanitary district

FRONT ROYAL – The Lake Front Royal Sanitary District will continue operations after a two-year trial run.

The Board of Supervisors at its regular Tuesday meeting unanimously voted for the county to continue overseeing maintenance of the subdivision. The sanitary district was created in January 2016 by a Warren County Circuit Court judge after 50 residents petitioned for its establishment.

Other residents, however, felt this was done in a secretive manner and asked the supervisors to join a petition for its abolition.  The supervisors in August 2016 voted 3-2 against joining the petition with the condition that the matter be re-evaluated in two years.

The time for review came this month and 305 surveys were mailed to property owners of 346 lots. Through August 13, 125 responses representing 145 lots were received.

Of those, 105 property owners support the sanitary district’s continuation and 14 are opposed. Six surveys were inconclusive, indicating both support and dissent.

County Administrator Doug Stanley said responses are “overwhelmingly positive” and many thanked county staff.

Supervisor Chairman Tony Carter said it seems residents were upset with the process governing the district’s creation and many have since changed their minds.

John Kovac, a Lake Front Royal resident of 30 years, said although he opposed its formation the county’s work is “the best job I have seen in years.”

Gordon Loughlin seconded that and said it would be a “disaster” if the property owner’s association resumed management.

Elizabeth Barry, however, said the county has “accomplished nothing” more than the property owner’s association.

Diana Hunter agreed and said higher costs due to administrative fees are “the only difference.”

Supervisor Linda Glavis said she voted against the sanitary district in 2016 because a majority of residents were opposed. She added that it appears residents have benefited, so she changed her mind.

Supervisor Tom Sayre, who called for the two-year review, said the majority of the surveys yielded positive results because Warren County staff does an “outstanding job.”

“That was one reason why I voted for it initially…because I was hoping staff would do a good job there and apparently they have, so I’m very pleased with how things have turned out,” he said.

All supervisors were present at the meeting.