For some, Massanutten town incorporation is not best option

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— Massanutten is not going to incorporate into a town this year, but it could happen next year. The recent push was a response to community concerns about money and other issues and incorporation was seen by some as a possible solution. However, not everyone who lives in the area supports incorporation.

Massanutten will not become a town this year, but some residents are concerned about the future possibility. | Credit: WHSV

Basil Hangemanole has lived in Massanutten for about two decades. He said he understands some of the concerns about living in the area.

"I don't agree with Great Eastern 100 percent of the time and I'm not happy rates went up," Hangemanole said.

However, he said he still thinks it's a great place to live and feels residents get a lot for their Homeowner's Association fees.

"We get so much more," Hangemanole said. "Our roads are kept clean, they're kept passable when we have weather, so I don't see it as much of a problem."

Hangemanole worries about the impact of incorporation happening in the future.

"They will disenfranchise people who have property here, but don't have their primary residence here," Hangemanole said.

Gene Hauze, one of the residents pushing for incorporation, said he does not think anything will change if the town incorporates.

"If they live outside the Rockingham County, they don't have a right to vote for a county supervisor," Hauze said.

He said people will still be able to go to the property owners association with any concerns. Hangemanole said he thinks the discussions the county is pursuing would be a better alternative to incorporation.

"The sheriff's department taking over the police," Hangemanole said. "That's the big thing. That's a big chunk of money and it's not going to make us any less secure."

The county also said they're talking with VDOT about turning over some of the roads to the state, as well as the county taking on sewer and water. Rockingham County has said they've already asked the sheriff's office to include additional officers and equipment on their upcoming budget.

Hauze said he does not believe all of the changes will bring them the solutions they want. He adds while they have had some push back from residents, they had a few dozens residents ask to sign a different petition who did not live in the county on a full-time basis.

Hauze said they will pursue incorporation again in the future.

Massanutten Resort said in a statement on Monday that they are continuing to work with the property owners association.

"We (Massanutten Resort) continue to work closely with the MPOA board to figure out the next best steps for our community as a whole," read part of the statement.