Massanutten group still hopes incorporation is possible

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— Gene Hauze and others in Massanutten are still hoping Massanutten will be incorporated into a town, but it's unclear if a lawmaker will sponsor the special act during the upcoming General Assembly session.

The committee of residents has gathered over 900 signatures. | Credit: WHSV

Hauze said they've made progress since the last time we spoke about the plan to incorporate Massanutten.

"We also have put together a charter, and we're nearly complete with the boundaries," Hauze said. "And those are the two things you need when you go to the General Assembly."

Hauze said after conversations with his local lawmakers, Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Va. 26th House District) has decided not to bring it forward this year. Wilt said after discussion, he thought waiting was the best decision.

"The best thing right now for the citizens of Massanutten is that the negotiations continue to play out and see if they can get remedies for the areas that they have concerns about," Wilt said.

Rockingham County confirmed to WHSV they're looking at taking over the water and sewer. The county is also in talks about having VDOT take some of the roads into their system, and having county deputies assigned to the area.

Hauze said those negotiations still would not solve all their issues. He said he and other supporters are still waiting to hear back from Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Va. 24th Senate District).

"That's our last hope. If Senator Hanger doesn't take it to Richmond, then we're pretty much dead in the water until 2021," Hauze said.

Even if the special act is introduced, there's a possibility it would not be passed, and it's something Hauze said they knew could happen. Hauze said if Hanger and Wilt do not sponsor the act, they do not plan to speak with other legislators about the possibility.

We spoke with Sen. Hanger on the phone on Friday, and he said he is still considering options.