9.5 – Consideration of Roads
Citizens and property owners may wish to consider who owns and maintains roads in the Massanutten Community, both currently and after Massanutten would be incorporated into a town. A summary of this consideration is included in table below. Please refer to SECTION IV. Massanutten Community Infrastructure of this report for more details.
Currently, the Massanutten Property Owners Association (MPOA) privately owns and maintains fifty-two (52) lane miles of hard surfaced roads in Massanutten Village. The VA Department of Transportation (VDOT) owns and maintains roughly twelve (12) lane miles of hard surfaced roads outside of Massanutten Village in the Massanutten Community. The maintenance of these roads includes snow removal in the wintertime and roadside grass cutting in the growing seasons. MPOA also assists in the maintenance of Resort Drive under an agreement with VDOT. MPOA privately funds road maintenance via fees levied on its property owners and via net revenues from the operation of its commercial ventures (Mini-Golf Course, Go-Kart Track, etc.). Also, the developer, Great Eastern Resorts, shares in the cost of resurfacing Massanutten and Del Webb Drives with MPOA. MPOA privately funds road maintenance despite the fact that more than 55% of the vehicles entering into Massanutten Village are not related to MPOA — they are coming from the general public largely patronizing Great Eastern Resorts businesses. The cost of resurfacing all fifty-two (52) lane miles of hard surfaced arterial roads and subdivision streets in Massanutten Village has been estimated to cost $3.5 million over a twenty (20) year period. The cost of resurfacing the forty-four (44) lane miles of subdivisions streets alone has been estimated to cost $2.9 million, where these streets were last repaved between sixteen (16) and twenty (20) years ago. MPOA is scheduled to start another four (4) year resurfacing project of all subdivision streets beginning in 2012 or 2013. MPOA is not entitled to receive any state or federal funding to help pay for its road maintenance. MPOA may levy one-time special assessments to pay for road resurfacing projects — this includes levying a special assessment on a given subdivision to pay for the resurfacing of its subdivision streets.
If incorporated into a town, an incorporated town of Massanutten would maintain all publicly owned roads within the town boundaries. This would include any MPOA roads turned over to the incorporated town and those hard surfaced roads currently in the VDOT Secondary Road System (e.g. Resort Drive). VDOT would no longer be responsible for maintaining any roads — this includes snow removal. If MPOA turned over all of its roads and transferred most of its road maintenance assets to the town, an incorporated town of Massanutten could be eligible to receive $750,000 of funding from the VDOT urban maintenance program defraying most of the cost of maintaining town roads with a quality similar to that currently done by MPOA. An incorporated town of Massanutten could issue municipal bonds for large road resurfacing projects, such as the resurfacing of Massanutten Village subdivision streets, which could be paid back over a twenty (20) year period.
Currently, most property owners in the Massanutten community are provided with underground electric power service by Virginia Power, underground telephone service by Verizon, underground cable television service by Comcast or Resort Cable, and underground water and sewerage service by Massanutten Public Service Corporation. These utilities would be relatively unaffected by town incorporation with one exception. These utility companies often conduct maintenance and upgrades on their infrastructure that includes removal and resurfacing of small sections of Massanutten roads. The settling of these «patched» sections has resulted in an uneven surface for vehicle use that deteriorates over time and compromises the overall road base. MPOA has had limited success in forcing utility companies to correct these road repairs, largely because it is legally one corporation (MPOA) versus another (a utility company) in civil court. An incorporated town would have greater legal authority to ensure the proper repair of town roads and right-of-ways after any construction work done by utility companies in order to maintain the integrity of the road surface and base over time.