Council honors Shaffer, code amendments made, ARPA funds allocated and other Luray news

Contact Us To Place Your AD Here:

Lois Shaffer and Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer
At its Feb. 13 meeting, the Luray Council adopted and presented a proclamation of appreciation to Lois Shaffer for her many years of service to the community as the director of Page One. The proclamation was presented by Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Feb. 13 — During its regular monthly meeting last week, members of the Luray Council honored longtime Page One director Lois Shaffer with a Proclamation of Appreciation upon the recent announcement of her retirement.

The proclamation notes Shaffer’s beginnings as a volunteer in 1985, and as the Thrift Store Manager in 1988; it marks her start as the Page One Director of Operations in 1994, and the thousands of residents she has assisted “with funding for utilities, medical needs, and shelter.”

It notes her management of the local food bank and her coordination of the “donation of untold items to help fund Page One…”, but it also notes how “Shaffer has always gone above and beyond to find assistance for those in need.”

Once the proclamation was read and adopted, it was presented to Shaffer by Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer.

Shaffer’s retirement was effective Dec. 31, 2022.

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Members of Town Council of the Town of Luray hereby express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for Ms. Shaffer’s dedication and commitment to citizens of the Town of Luray and Page County,” the proclamation reads, “congratulate her on the occasion of her retirement, and wish her the best and continued success in her retirement and future endeavors.”

In other business at its Feb. 13 work session, the Luray Council also discussed the following issues:

• Heard a report from Joe Fudge of the non-profit Arise, a homeless outreach center in East Luray, requested by Councilman Ron Vickers. Fudge reported that the group delivered 8,341 meals last year and are projected to deliver over 10,000 hot meals in Page County this year. They average 70 to 80 meals each day. The organization also offers emergency housing, although they ceased being a “day shelter” nearly three years ago. Arise helped 141 families last year with everything from employment and housing, to food and access to a cell phone and public services.

• Heard a report from Bryan Phipps, the president and CEO of People Inc., regarding the Luray Meadows affordable housing project. Phipps noted that the $13.6 million project had been in the works for about a decade before the 52-unit housing complex was completed last year. By Dec. 22, Luray Meadows had reached full occupancy. Phipps said it is not uncommon for it to take a year to “fill up” units in a project such as this — Luray Meadows filled up in just three months. The affordable housing project adjacent to the Luray Airport won the governor’s housing award this past fall, according to Phipps, as the “best rural housing development in Virginia.”

• Heard a progress report on the Yagers Spring Greenway Extension from members of the Hawksbill Greenway Foundation and gave consensus to proceed with Phase II of the project. The non-profit received pro bono services from Summer Williams of Convergence Grants in a successful bid for a $25,000 grant toward a feasibility study for the half-mile expansion. A representative from Racey Engineering described the trail’s path and plans for a bridge over Hawksbill Creek. Foundation board member Rod Graves spoke of the project’s effort to preserve the natural and historic integrity of the property that contained a blast furnace and small village from 1787 to 1841, through the creation of the Redwell-Isabella Furnace Historic Park. He also noted the importance of the natural springs there that generate up to 8 million gallons of water each day.

• Heard a report from Luray Downtown Initiative Program Director Jackie Elliott regarding recent meetings with officials from the Virginia Main Street program, including exploration of ways to take advantage of mixed-use grants and creating remote work space in downtown. The LDI director also noted Mardi Gras activities planned downtown, including specials at local restaurants, on Saturday, Feb. 25.

• Approved, by a 5-1 vote, a Code Amendment to establish Chapter 518 Commercial Vehicles in Residential Zones parking restrictions to address noise complaints involving overnight operation of a tractor trailer. Working with the Town Attorney, staff developed a Code Amendment to Section D of Chapter 58-5 – Loud, Disturbing, and Unreasonable Noise to specifically include noise related to vehicles. The Chapter was also updated to be consistent with current legislation. After a brief discussion, Councilman Joey Sours cast the lone vote against the measure due to a feeling of it being “over restrictive or unnecessary.”

• Unanimously approved the request for a donation of two used, operable automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and two additional AED’s for parts to Main Street Baptist Church. The older equipment was not being directly used by the Town, which upgraded its AED equipment to Phillips to be consistent throughout its buildings. The total cost of all four donated units was $300.

• Unanimously approved a motion to refer a potential Code Amendment to Chapter 518 – Short-Term Rental Regulations to the Luray Planning Commission for review and development. The focus will be to further define the expectations of short-term rental units inside Town limits.

• Unanimously approved and adopted a Code Amendment to Town Code Chapter 78 – Taxation – Article VI – Transient Occupancy Tax to simplify the Code and update it to comply with current State Code. Due dates and reporting requirements for the property owner and/or intermediary have also been updated.

• Unanimously approved an appropriation of $105,000 in ARPA funds to low-bidder Lord & Company for the upgrade of SCADA instrumentation and control for the Town’s Water Treatment Plant, water supply facilities, and the water distribution tank system. Upgrades would allow WTP staff to monitor the water plant and distribution system both at the plant and remotely. The total amount includes the low bid of $94,624, plus a 10-percent contingency.

• Unanimously approved the appropriation of $128,255 in federal ARPA funds for the upgrade of the Luray Police Department’s communication equipment to conform with the Page County Emergency Operations Communications upgrade. The Town had removed funding for this project in the FY 2022-2023 Budget in anticipation of the use of ARPA funding. The upgrades include both hand-held and vehicle radios.

• Unanimously approved a request from Rod Graves for the use of a bench donated to the Town by the George Comer Family to be placed on property owned by Luray Caverns near the Singing Tower proposed for a historical marker for Bethany Veney by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation. An event is tentatively planned for May to mark the creation of the pocket park honoring the former slave and her remarkable story.

• Unanimously approved a request from the West Luray Rec Center to authorize the Mayor to provide a letter of support for grant applications to support the construction of the inclusive playground at the Rec Center’s planned Restoration Park.

• Unanimously approved a $5 entry fee for September’s annual Sunflower Festival at Ralph Dean Park to help recover some of the increasing costs involved with facilitating the event. However, council tabled action on a request to create a donation plan for Town events, including a sponsorship page on the Town website. The delay was based on further research about the legality of excluding politically-based promotions and advertisements as discussed by the council. The overall effort is aimed at generating revenue for the Parks and Rec department to cover the growing costs of putting on numerous events during the year.

• Unanimously approved to award a professional service contract for accounting services to Mary K. Earhart PLLC in an amount not to exceed $19,000. The motion also authorized the Town treasurer to execute the contract for work with the 2022-23 budget. The same firm assisted the Town with its financial review for the previous year’s budget.

• Unanimously adopted a change to the format of future council meetings by adding a “Council Comments” section immediately after “Citizen Comments”, so that members of the council may respond to, or ask questions about, issues raised during the Citizen Comment period. Current rules dictate that council members are not to engage with citizens during the comment period.

For more information about happenings around Luray,

visit their website at

or visit their Facebook page at



Council continues discussion of short-term rentals, Mimslyn wants to open B&B and other Luray news

Council approves two more short-term rentals, vice mayor named and other news from Luray

Schiro recognized for 30 years of service to Town and other news from Luray

Warehouse Art Gallery closing Dec. 31, small portion of exhibits to be relocated to two smaller sites

Pickleball, tennis, basketball courts could be coming to Ralph Dean Park next year

Top Post Ad

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.