FRONT ROYAL — Mayor Eugene Tewalt during Town Council’s meeting this week said he would like 11 goals to be accomplished during 2020.
First, Tewalt said he wants town and county officials to meet and figure out how the two bodies can foster a better relationship “and work toward giving the citizens a better outlook for the future because we’re all citizens of Warren County.”
Next, he said the Town Council must continue working to solve its water infrastructure issues and asked that another $3 million be set aside for necessary repairs. This has been an ongoing problem as the town has been under a consent order from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality since 2009 due to its poor water and sewer infrastructure. Being under a consent order means the town can be fined, which it has, for not complying with mandated regulations.
“We’re already spending quite a bit of money, but I think it’s very important that we continue working toward getting these problems resolved,” Tewalt said at Monday’s meeting.
His next goal deals with other infrastructure issues, including streets, curb and gutter, sidewalks, stormwater drainage and more. To quell those issues, he asked the council to borrow $3 million, which would be paid back using highway maintenance funds provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
He said the town also needs to work on enhancing its tourism by working with a recently formed tourism board.
Tewalt said the town also needs to attract new businesses for economic growth, a goal that should be pursued by forming an “economy development committee.”
He said that the town’s main through roads – Royal and Commerce avenues – need to be “more presentable to our citizens and our tourists as they come through the town.”
Tewalt said two of the goals are safety-related, with one being to protect pedestrians and the other to work with the Police Department “to make Front Royal safer for all people.”
He said the town also needs to work on bringing “in a 55 and over community for retirees,” and that there are a couple of developers interested in working on such a project.
Tewalt said he would also like to initiate a town hall meeting that would allow conversation between officials and citizens, on the third Thursday of every month. Hopefully, he said, that will begin next month.
Lastly, Tewalt said he wants to hire a permanent town manager as soon as possible. Matt Tederick has served as interim town manager since Joe Waltz’s November resignation.