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Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility to be renamed to honor town Mayor George B. Fitch

Wednesday, May. 14 | By Jonathan Hunley
Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch
The Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility soon will bear the name of its champion.

The Warrenton Town Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to rename the WARF to honor Mayor George B. Fitch, who is retiring.

The exact wording of the new moniker isn't set in stone, but councilors wanted to maintain the popular "WARF" acronym.

Or, as Town Manager Ken McLawhon said, "It is a naming, but they wanted to keep the WARF name, as well."

So the operation probably will be called something such as the "George B. Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility."

"I don't know how else you could really do it," McLawhon said.

Councilors Joan R. Williams and Yakir M. Lubowsky were absent from Tuesday's meeting and didn't vote on the naming.

Some have criticized the $22.2 million WARF, especially in campaigns leading up to the May 6 council elections, but town officials maintain that it provides a vital public service.

And Warrenton Parks and Recreation Director Margaret Rice told councilors Tuesday night that about 2,000 children learn to swim at the WARF each year.

Fitch, perhaps the most gregarious of the WARF's backers, did not seek re-election this year. He endorsed Ward 1 Councilman Powell L. Duggan for the job, and Duggan won in a contest in which he was unopposed.

Vice Mayor David A. Norden and Councilman Roger R. Martella Jr., whom Fitch also endorsed, were up for election earlier this month, as well. They were defeated by former Councilwoman L.P. "Sunny" Reynolds and political newcomer Sean M. Polster.

Duggan, Reynolds and Polster take their new offices July 1.

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