4.5 – Frequently Asked Questions
An interim report on the feasibility of incorporating Massanutten into a town was published on a website in August 2010. It was available for review and comment for roughly nine (9) months prior to the start of final reporting. During that review period, the author received numerous questions about town incorporation. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) were answered and placed on the website. Some FAQs have been incorporated into the text of this final report. Other FAQs applicable to this section of the report are noted as follows for completeness of reporting:
FAQ: If Massanutten incorporates into a town, will VDOT plow the snow from our roads in the winter?
Answer: NO! ......... Massanutten has possibly the best plowed roads in the Commonwealth. With all due respect to VDOT, residents of Massanutten believe MPOA crews know best how to keep Massanutten roads clear from ice and snow in the winter. If Massanutten incorporates into a town and MPOA turns over all of the roads of Massanutten Village for town (not VDOT) maintenance, MPOA would then also likely transfer its maintenance assets and staffing profiles over to an incorporated town of Massanutten. These MPOA assets and staffing profiles would be augmented to address the maintenance for additional roads in an incorporated town of Massanutten. Thus, the town would maintain its own roads to include snow removal in the winter — VDOT would not maintain them. If Massanutten incorporates into a town and is eligible to receive annual VDOT Urban Maintenance Program, it would be entitled to receive more than $750,000 in funding to assist in paying for the maintenance of town roads. This funding may be used to pay for materials and labor associated with snow plowing.
FAQ: I have been told that VDOT has drastically cut their budget. Have you included in your report this drastic cut in the VDOT budget?
Answer: While VDOT has recently had budget cuts, the VDOT funding for the Urban Maintenance Program has NOT been cut at all in the last 25 years. This program provides funding assistance for VA cities and towns to maintain their streets deriving its funding from the VA and federal gasoline taxes. The payments are based on lane miles of streets and roads. The historical profile for VDOT funding for this program is given in the Reference Subsection of Section IV (item number 6). You can also go to the VDOT web site and download the historical profile directly from their site.
FAQ: If Massanutten incorporates into a town, will it get a guarantee from VDOT that they will provide funding assistance for the next 25 years?
Answer: NO! ... Someone famously said there are no certainties in life except for death and taxes. Although VDOT will not provide any «guarantees» for road funding assistance, VDOT has a history of providing road maintenance assistance to towns for the last twenty-five (25) years without program cuts (see above question) and that the funding is derived from gasoline taxes. It is important to point out that MPOA also cannot provide any guarantees that property owner fees will not rise over the next twenty-five (25) years or that MPOA will not impose a special assessment for road resurfacing (the MPOA Articles of Incorporation [Article V] allows for the levying of annual fees and «special assessments»).
FAQ: Will an incorporated town of Massanutten have street lights?
Answer: There is nothing in the state code that requires towns to have street lights. The erection of street lights within a town is determined by town officials, pursuant to its Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan. It should be noted that streets and right-of-ways in all sixteen (16) single family and multi-family subdivisions in Massanutten Village are currently owned by MPOA. There is nothing in the MPOA Bylaws or Covenants at this time that would prevent the MPOA Board from voting to erect street lights on these streets. If these streets and right-of-ways were to be transferred to an incorporated town of Massanutten, the town official (who may well include current MPOA Board members) would not be any more inclined to erect street lights than the MPOA Board. The cost (to install and operate) such lights and voter outrage would be the primary deterrent.