7.3 – Incorporated Town of Massanutten Administration

An incorporated town of Massanutten would need to administer services to a greater area and population than that currently administered by MPOA in just Massanutten Village. This includes (as shown in the photo below):

  • an increase in land area from the roughly 1500 acres of developed land in Massanutten Village to over 7,800 acres of land in an incorporated town of Massanutten — although, more than 3,500 acres still remains undeveloped in the Massanutten Village West Area;
  • an increase in road system size from the roughly 52 lane miles of roads in Massanutten Village to roughly 64.4 lane miles of roads in an incorporated town of Massanutten;
  • an increase in the number of residential housing units from 1,052 units in Massanutten Village to 1,125 units in an incorporated town of Massanutten; and,
  • an increase in the number of timeshare units from 730 units in Massanutten Village to roughly 1,230 units in an incorporated town of Massanutten.
(point on figure to zoom)

The only services which a town must provide, pursuant to the VA Code of Law, are the services of comprehensive planning and zoning. These services include creation and amendment of a Town Comprehensive Plan and Town Zoning Ordinances as well as zoning administration and enforcement. If Massanutten incorporated into a town, these required town services (RTS) could be readily administered by a Town of Massanutten Mayor and Council along with a Town of Massanutten Planning Commission. This collection of modestly paid elected officials and non-paid appointed commissioners could be supported by a professional paid Town Administrator, along with an administrative assistant. The Town Administrator could act as the Town Zoning Administrator with the Town Board of Zoning Appeals being made up of non-paid appointed members. A professional paid Town Treasurer could implement and collect any town taxes and/or manage any intergovernmental assistance. This mixture of personnel for the administration of these required town services (RTS) is commensurate with other towns in Rockingham County.

All other allowable town services such as law enforcement and public works (to include road maintenance) are optional pursuant to the VA Code. This somewhat complicates any analysis of staffing required to administer services in an incorporated town of Massanutten. Certain staff can be readily compartmentalized to administer such services as law enforcement and road maintenance. However, the addition of any such services would also likely impact staffing in the overall town administration. Therefore, it was decided that several alternatives of town provided services would be examined to develop full staffing profiles for an incorporated town of Massanutten. These alternatives would provide a framework for what a town of Massanutten might look like from a personnel staffing standpoint and allow associated budgeting to be evaluated in the next section.

Prior to discussing these alternatives, it is important to emphasize that the mix of services to be provided by an incorporated town of Massanutten is highly dependent on what services would be needed for the Massanutten Village area. Currently, MPOA privately provides services in this area, such as road maintenance and law enforcement. Sections IV and V of this report discussed some advantages to allowing an incorporated town of Massanutten to provide these services more cost effectively by having the ability to balance the financial burden on property owners, citizens, businesses, and visitors plus having access to state and federal funding. The key to what services the town will provide is to determine what assets will be turned over or transferred by MPOA.

The following is a description of five (5) alternatives that were examined for an incorporated town of Massanutten, each related to possible services the town could provide. Each alternative is designated with the letter «T» for «Town» followed by a distinct number — the designation along with abbrs was created to permit comparisons in tables.

T1 — Required Town Services (RTS)

This alternative is an incorporated town of Massanutten that just provides its citizens with the services of comprehensive planning and zoning, as required by the VA Code of Law.

T2 — Required Town Services (RTS) and Limited Road Maintenance (LRM)

This alternative is an incorporated town of Massanutten that provides its citizens with the services of comprehensive planning and zoning, as required by the VA Code of Law. Additionally, the town would provide its citizens with limited maintenance services for roads already in the VDOT Secondary Road System (see Section IV for details) along with Massanutten Drive and Del Webb Drive — the latter two (2) roads could be readily turned over by MPOA without much impact to Massanutten Village privacy given that they are basically open to the public at this time. No transfer of any other MPOA assets is anticipated because it is envisioned that the town would contract for the maintenance services of its roads.

T3 — Required Town Services (RTS) and Full Road Maintenance (RM)

This alternative is an incorporated town of Massanutten that provides its citizens with the services of comprehensive planning and zoning, as required by the VA Code of Law. Additionally, the town would provide its citizens with maintenance services for all qualifying town roads, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA roads could be turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten along with the transfer of the majority of MPOA maintenance assets. Furthermore, the town would provide its citizens with maintenance services for all town parks, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA parks could also be readily turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten — which is logical if MPOA transfers the majority of its maintenance assets.

T4 — Required Town Services (RTS), Full Road Maintenance (RM) and Law Enforcement (LE)

This alternative is an incorporated town of Massanutten that provides its citizens with the services of comprehensive planning and zoning, as required by the VA Code of Law. Additionally, the town would provide its citizens with maintenance services for all qualifying town roads, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA roads could be turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten along with the transfer of the majority of MPOA maintenance assets. And, the town would also provide its citizens with maintenance services for all town parks, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA parks could also be readily turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten. Furthermore, the town would provide all town citizens with law enforcement services. The MPOA law enforcement assets could be transferred to an incorporated town of Massanutten.

T5 — Required Town Services (RTS), Full Road Maintenance (RM), Law Enforcement (LE), & Recreation (REC)

This alternative is an incorporated town of Massanutten that provides its citizens with the services of comprehensive planning and zoning, as required by the VA Code of Law. Additionally, the town would provide its citizens with maintenance services for all qualifying town roads, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA roads could be turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten along with the transfer of the majority of MPOA maintenance assets. And, the town would also provide its citizens with maintenance and operations services for all town parks and town recreational facilities, including those in Massanutten Village that are owned by MPOA. The MPOA parks and recreational facilities could be turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten by MPOA. Furthermore, the town would provide all town citizens with law enforcement services. The MPOA law enforcement assets could be transferred to an incorporated town of Massanutten.

It should be noted that the last alternative (T5) has the least likelihood of ever becoming a reality. It was determined that the MPOA recreational facilities generate valuable net revenues that help defray MPOA administrative costs plus help offset the costs of operating MPOA amenities for exclusive free use by its members. These benefits likely outweigh any benefit of transfer to an incorporated town of Massanutten.

Using these defined alternatives, full staffing profiles were developed for an incorporated town of Massanutten. These alternatives, shown in the table below, provide a framework of what a town of Massanutten might look like from a personnel staffing standpoint and allow associated budgeting to be evaluated in the next section using the same alternatives. In the table, the Roman Numerals shown indicate levels of experience/expertise needed for a given staffing position with «I» being the lowest level and «III» being the highest level. Parentheses represent additional responsibilities for a given level of expertise. Any Town Recreation Department was considered to be a separate cost center with staffing not shown in the table.

(point on figure to zoom)
Town Staf

* Roman Numerals shown in the Administration portion indicate levels of experience/expertise need for a given staffing position with «I» being the lowest level and «III» being the highest level.
** Parentheses represent additional responsibilities for a given level of expertise.

The table readily shows the levels of staffing required for the different levels of service provided by an incorporated town of Massanutten under each alternative. It goes from a town staffing level of three (3) for implementation of just required town services (T1) to a staffing level of twenty-nine (29) for implementation of required town services plus the services of law enforcement, road maintenance, and parks and recreational facilities maintenance (T5).

Please note that the MPOA Timeshare Rental Program, which is an MPOA commercial venture that helps defray the costs of MPOA essential services, was not considered as a viable service for an incorporated town of Massanutten. It was determined that this program would best remain with MPOA to continue generating net revenues to help defray MPOA administrative costs after any town incorporation. Additionally, no assets of Great Eastern Resorts, to include its privately owned roads, were considered to be transferred or turned over to an incorporated town of Massanutten.

It should also be noted that the transfer of the Hopkins Park and Rockingham Springs Arboretum from MPOA to an incorporated town of Massanutten would make sense for three reasons. First, these areas require regular maintenance year-round to include landscaping and snow plowing services. If the MPOA maintenance services have been transferred to an incorporated town of Massanutten, it would make sense to similarly transfer the MPOA park assets, allowing the town to perform the necessary maintenance. Second, civil liabilities are associated with these areas. If the assets and operations were transferred to an incorporated town, the town would likely incur less civil liability than a private corporation like MPOA. And third, these areas are currently owned by MPOA property owners who pay fees to MPOA to help pay for the maintenance of these areas. Once transferred, these same areas would still be owned by the same property owners who would be paying taxes as part of a larger base to an incorporated town of Massanutten, which could cover the expenses associated with these same areas.