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Mayor Fraser pledges ‘bright future’ for Purcellville

Mayor Kwasi Fraser gives his “State of the Town” address Feb. 12. Times-Mirror/Karen Graham
Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser declared the state of the town “economically strong, operationally resilient and strategically determined” at his State of the Town address at Town Hall Monday.

“In 2017, we witnessed critical debt reduction, created new opportunities for our town's assets and provided a business-friendly community that continues to enhance the quality of life in Purcellville for everyone,” Fraser said.

Fraser said the accomplishments will “not be overshadowed by the ongoing investigations, nor the misrepresentation of facts surrounding these investigations.”

The second-term mayor was referring to a series of town government incidents that began with the retirement of longtime town manager Rob Lohr. Lohr's retirement was followed by accusations of misconduct against Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister, which in turn sparked further investigations within town hall and among high-level employees. Those investigations – estimated to cost at least $200,000 – are currently being reviewed by the Wilson Elser law firm, and several town employees remain on paid leave.

Fraser said he has "complete confidence in the firm reviewing our investigations.”

In his address, the mayor said the financial achievements for Purcellville “were significant” for the year and established a “firm foundation for future years.”

“We restructured the debt to obtain $12.5 million in debt payment savings over 10 years, significantly reducing the future balloon payments,” he said.

Fraser said the town reduced the projected double-digit water and sewer rate increases by 50 percent. In addition, the council reduced the proposed $1.2 million utility fund charge-backs for fiscal 2018 by $324,558, according to the mayor. They generated $344,718 in non-tax revenue through a forestry management selective cut program, and the sale of an under-performing town-owned asset resulted in $300,000 revenue to the wastewater fund. The town is positioned to obtain $107,000 in projected revenue during 2018 from investing cash reserves in the Virginia Investment Pool, the mayor said.

Stating the town is a “business-friendly community,” Fraser said 43 new businesses opened in Purcellville in 2017, with three business expansions, seven businesses relocating in town, and two – McDonald's and Southern States - completely rebuilt.

Another bonus for the town, Fraser said, is the new management in place for Fireman's Field and Bush Tabernacle – Play to Win, LLC and Shaun Alexander Enterprises, which officials expect will bring new revenue to the town.

Fraser also mentioned a new picnic pavilion at Fireman's Field named in honor of longtime parks and recreation employee, Wendy Smith, as well as a new scoreboard at the facility.

He noted Purcellville won a water treatment plant award for the 10th consecutive year.

In the area of public safety, the mayor said “we have a police force that is dedicated to community engagement,” highlighting public safety day, firetruck rides to school events and more community outreach.

The town has worked with county government to secure $875,000 for a new school crosswalk area by Blue Ridge Middle School, and Fraser said they are working with Loudoun County Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) to accelerate the new interchange at Rt. 690 and Rt. 7.

“All of western Loudoun needs it,” he said.

Fraser praised town staff and thanked Interim Town Manager John Anzivino for his assistance.

“John Anzivino has been a blessing to us. It has been a stressful time, but they continue to provide quality service,” Fraser said, speaking of town staff. “We ask citizens to be patient with us as it takes its course and comes to completion.

“The future is bright. We continue to be a prosperous business environment where the citizens remain the focus of our mission.”

Comments


Great speech Mayor Fraser, No do you want to tell us all what the heck is really going on in your town government?


Skyprince- Lazaro has been out of office for 4 years. It’s you all’s baby now and has been for the past 4 years. You guys just don’t seem to understand that, and are obsessed with blaming the past. 200,000$ because you don’t know how to write a memo, have a conversation, or let professionals do their jobs, and would rather investigate to prove extremely expensive points.

And growth… the very short sighted approach you took to 32nd will now result in 20 single family Homes by right. Instead of providing MUCH needed Homes for the elderly, similar to the successful neighborhood by Loudoun Valley, Wordsworth circle. Than when everyone got their hopes up for assisted living off hirst, that seems to have disappeared too? Lazaro do that? Would of been nice to explor the options off 32nd street before just saying know. Maybe they could of helped pay for traffic mediation at 32nd/Main. Now they have NO plans to ask council or Town for assistance, and the Town can assume the same from them.


Of course with all that great growth, came corruption within local govt(Purcellville). Coming up on a year since this debacle started. And lots of questions unanswered…...


Much too late! The previous administrations of LazyArro…ruined what made P’ville special,the fact that it did not look like the rest of America. There was nothing wrong with the stores and shops we had. Now it looks like Peoria, Dubuque and worse, New Jersey…just ugly fake chain stores….the golden goose was crushed in the name of copycat development. Sad.


Does this mean he’s resigning?


Just sitting back with my popcorn waiting for the show…

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