By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 29 — Mary Broyles began working for the Town of Luray on August 5, 1985. Now, after more than 36 years of service, the town treasurer is retiring effective Dec. 31, 2021.
At its Dec. 13 meeting, the Luray Council honored Broyles’ decades of service with a proclamation noting her “diligence and hard work” in “navigating challenging financial crises” and providing “invaluable leadership and guidance to the Town Manager, Department Heads, and staff related to all financial and human resources matters.”
Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer read the proclamation, which stated Broyes has “distinguished herself as a hard-working and dedicated public servant, who at all times was committed to helping our community with fair and consistent utility and tax payment initiatives” and “has cultivated strong, cooperative relationships with residents, community groups, businesses, other local government officials, and other members of our community.”
The proclamation also pointed out how Broyles had “repeatedly presented opportunities to Town Council to restructure our debt to reduce expenses and expand our opportunities to pursue infrastructure improvements.”
“Now therefore, be it resolved,” Dofflemyer said, “that the Mayor and Members of Town Council of the Town of Luray hereby express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for Ms. Broyles’ dedication and commitment to the Town of Luray, congratulate her on the occasion of her retirement, and wish her the best and continued success in her retirement and future endeavors.”
Following the reading of the proclamation, Councilman Jerry Schiro presented the outgoing treasurer with a small gift from the Town.
“I had the pleasure of working with Mary three times as town manager, this is my third term on council working with you,” Schiro said, “and Mary you’ve always been a true asset to the town and to the council, and we really appreciate everything you’ve done for the town.”
Following a closed session at the end of the Dec. 13 meeting, the Luray Council voted unanimously to name deputy clerk/treasurer Danielle Babb the new clerk/treasurer effective Jan. 1, 2022 at a salary of $75,000. Babb began serving in her current role in 2006. The Luray High School graduate earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Bridgewater College.
Babb’s appointment was originally the second action item on the Dec. 13 agenda, complete with documentation showing a formal offer that had been made to Babb, her acceptance of the position, and the $67,500 salary offered by Town Manager Steve Burke. The documents showed a salary range of $65,000 to $125,000 for the clerk/treasurer position. In the proposal — which according to the document was “not intended, nor should be construed as, an employment contract” — an increase of the annual salary to $68,500 was offered after the completion of a 90-day period.
The council decided to move the appointment to a closed session. When they returned to open session after a 20-minute private discussion, the council unanimously voted to offer the $75,000 salary and waive the 90-day period recommended for the 15-year town employee. Although the position and its terms, including salary, had already been negotiated by the town manager, the council holds the authority to negotiate terms and hire three positions in town government — the town manager, the town attorney and the town clerk/treasurer.
At its Dec. 13 meeting, the Luray Council also took the following actions:
• Approved a request from Baker Development Partnership LLC to subdivide and rezone a parcel from Business (B1) to Planned Neighborhood Development District (PND) to be incorporated into the Luray Landing Planned Neighborhood Development. A public hearing was held prior to the vote, with no speakers addressing the council.
• Awarded a contract for the replacement of playground equipment at Ralph Dean Park’s Imagination Station to All Recreation in an amount not to exceed $360,000. Of that amount, $350,000 represents the base bid, with $10,000 added to cover any contingencies during the project. The town intends to use ARPA Revenue Recovery funds to cover the cost. The winning bid was one of seven submitted to the town. The goal is to have the new equipment in place and ready for public use by June 17, 2022.
• Awarded a contract for the redesign and development of the town’s website to Standout Arts LLC not to exceed $33,050. The services to be provided include: Website Base Package ($16,750); ADA Real-Time Integration ($2,500); Auto-Archiving ($1,800); Real-Time Site-Wide Search ($275); Cookie Consent ($75); Social Feed Integration ($275); Weather Feed ($125); Social Share ($125); RSS Feed ($375); Advanced On-Page SEO ($850); E-Commerce ($4,500); 1 Year Warranty ($3,500); 1 Year Updates ($1,900)
• Decided to approach Frazier and Associates (through the Virginia Main Street program) to help develop a “vision” and plans for potential uses of property owned by Melinda Kramer on West Main Street. Kramer has agreed to potentially offer the town a long-term lease of up to 25 years for $1 a year to develop an empty lot across from West Main Market for public use. Councilman Ligon Webb presented the idea with potential uses ranging from an open-air farmers market to a picnic/playground area. During discussions earlier this month, Councilman Jason Pettit expressed concerns over the town improving property that it doesn’t own and taking a downtown parcel out of potential development. However, other members pointed out how long the property had sat vacant and touted the opportunity to create more foot traffic downtown. While no consensus was reached on a future use of the property or if the town would enter such a public-private partnership, the council agreed to move forward with pursuing plans from Frazier at no cost — a resource provided through Virginia’s Main Street program, which the town is a member through the Luray Downtown Initiative.
• Approved the use of $1.3 million in ARPA funds for the following projects: Police vehicles ($180,000), Page Valley News ads ($8,000), PD camera and tasers ($103,000), replacement of Imagination Station ($56,000), hazardous pay ($53,000), influent screening ($213,000), wastewater treatment plant ditch pumps ($244,000), HVAC at town hall ($25,000), West Luray lift station ($530,000), and PW vacuum truck ($300,000).
At a special meeting on Dec. 21, the Luray Council took the following action:
• Approved the preliminary and final plat application submitted by Baker Development Partnership LLC for the subdivision of several parcels into 24 developable lots and three open space lots within the Luray Landing Planned Neighborhood Subdivision. The Luray Planning Commission reviewed the plans and recommended approval.
Winners of the 2021 Luray Christmas parade held on Dec. 14 include:
- Best Civic Entry — 1st, Page County Farmers Association; 2nd, Page Valley Baptist Church; 3rd, Forward for Christ Baptist Church.
- Best Commercial Entry — 1st, Shenandoah Caverns; 2nd, Stacy’s Towing; 3rd, Pioneer Bank.
- Best Entertainment Entry — 1st, Luray High School Marching Band; 2nd, Yogi Bear Jellystone Park; 3rd, Luray Middle School Band.
- Best Overall Parade Theme — 1st, VFW Post 621 and Auxiliary; 2nd, Mrs. B’s Pizza; 3rd, Page Co-Op Farm Bureau.
- Best Animal Group — 1st, Massanutten Country Corner; 2nd, Alexis Shifflett; 3rd, Ride or Drive Quarter Horses.
- Best Fire/Rescue Department — 1st, Virginia Department of Forestry; 2nd, Shenandoah National Park; 3rd, Luray Fire Department.
Winners of the Light Up Luray home decorating contest include:
- 1st place — 2 Nelson Street
- 2nd place — 240 Forest Hills Drive
- 3rd place — 620 West Main Street