19 November 1997 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes
- Sully Supervisor Michael Frey was the guest speaker. A summary of his remarks is provided below:
- Fairfax County's school bond referendum passed overwhelmingly this election. Funds from the approved bonds will go for the construction of a new high school near Westfields that should open in 2000. Construction should start this spring. Mike thought the school board was using creative thinking to expedite the infrastructure construction for the new high school. The school board was able to save money by combining multiple infrastructure tasks into one contract.
- Additional funds will be used for the rolling renovation of existing county high schools and the construction of a new elementary school in Center Ridge.
- Mike tries to stay out of the school redistricting controversy. Those with concerns regarding the middle school redistricting should contact Gary Reese, the Sully School Board representative. The results of the middle school redistricting should be decided by February.
- The Board of Supervisors usually considers new school bonds on a two-year cycle. The next bond issue may include funds for a new middle school between Stone and Rocky Run schools.
- Fall 98 Bond Request:
- The board will probably authorize two bond referenda for the 98 election, one for parks and the other for county government and public-safety construction.
- The park request will be for $50 million, of which $12 million is earmarked as the county's share to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. This request is smaller than previous requests ($77 million was the last bond issue) and on a longer cycle than previous requests. Although many residents think that Sully district needs a recreation center such as other districts currently have, it may be hard to get the $12 - $15 million it would cost out of the $38 million left for the entire county. In addition, the question of whether Sully wants to spend its share of the money for a recreation center as opposed to the purchase and development (such as lighting) of new park sites has not been resolved. Mike was disappointed to see the HP proposal for a private-sector recreation facility on Stringfellow Road and I-66 withdrawn due to citizen concerns. He's interested seeing possible private-sector alternatives such as one being discussed at Trinity Center in Centreville.
- The county government and public-safety construction bond will be for $75 million. Half of these funds will go for the expansion of the county court house and jail. As the jail expansion is reimbursable by the state, the county will reuse the funds for the jail expansion for the expansion of the county court house. The remainder of the funds will go for human services in the Route 1 corridor and police station upgrades and construction. With the hiring of additional female officers, most existing stations need additional facilities. A new police station is needed in Centreville that will reduce the load at the Fair Oaks station. Mike would like to see the new Centreville Police Station include a government facility for the Sully Supervisor (who currently is the only supervisor using rented quarters). Mike envisions the Sully Supervisor government facility comprising a combination senior center and teen recreation center with a kitchen area and meeting room.
- County Budget: The budget situation seems to be resolved with no major problems foreseen for the next round. The fact that real estate development is occurring once more indicates our tax base is solid and revenues should increase slightly, but not any where near the increases seen in the 1980's.
- Transportation: Studies are underway for the I-66 and Route 29 corridors. Mike considers the plans that are forthcoming as grand plans that have little regard to actual funding concerns. Mike is working to ensure that the next round of public hearings on I-66 will include a location in western Fairfax County.
- Questions and Answers:
- Who paid for all the increased security at the courthouse? Mike indicated that the board authorized $1 million to increase security due to the trial of the accused CIA employees murderer. The board thinks it will receive some reimbursement from the federal government.
- What happens to the property (car) tax? If the legislature approves of Governor-elect Gilmore's plan, the state will reimburse the county an increasing pro-ratio share of the taxes. He thinks that this will occur for sure for at least the first two years - after that time will tell.
- Prince Georges County in Maryland is limiting residential development for six years - can Fairfax do the same? No. In Virginia, the state must give the counties authority to enact such legislation, and it hasn't. The counties must abide by their Comprehensive Development Plans. Both Prince William and Loudoun counties are trying to restrain their development, but whatever happens, their growth will impact our traffic. In Sully District, there are no increases of density contained in the latest round of comprehensive plan amendments.
- Is there land along I-66 dedicated for Metro? There are 4-5 acres near the Government Center and Random Hills. In Centreville, the Trinity site needs to be replanned to include dedicated space. The board has requested VDOT to buy all the land it may need at the Stringfellow Road park and ride site, but VDOT says it only has the money to buy the land it needs for the park and ride.
- Where would we put a recreation center? It could be build next to the new high school, or the 8-acre park and ride site next to Safeway in Westfields could be used, or the site could adjoin the new Centreville Police station.
- What is the story about the recent sale of school bonds? The school board sold $60 million worth of bonds to finance continued construction of ongoing projects (such as the McLearen Road middle school). The county usually sells $150 million of bonds a year in the spring to support previously approved bond referenda. In this case, the county took advantage of its high bond rating to lock in low interest rates.
- What is the county doing about all the deer? The county doesn't know what the deer population actually is. There have been proposals for a managed deer hunt, but its more like a managed deer kill. The county police have actually reported a decrease in deer accidents over the past three years. The county is exploring long term solutions such as sterilization and increased road reflectors. The board will get a report on what other counties are doing in the same situation.
- Other states require developers to subsidize schools' operating costs; can Fairfax do the same? No, as Virginia counties are limited as what they can require of developers. However, developers have contributed land for most school sites.
- Can the county influence Media General's channel selection? The county has no influence on Media General's choices. The county is working with Media General on the franchise renewal, but no franchise has not been renewed in the US. The county does have a say in Media General's base rate, but very few people subscribe at the lowest level of cable service.
- What ever happened to the storm water utility fee? The Boards decided it was impolitic to impose the storm water utility fee, and in its stead, is going to use the money originally allocated for the fees implementation to study the county’s watersheds.
- The Land Use and Transportation Committee made its recommendations for the county’s spot improvements program. Previous Sully spot-improvement nominations included the construction of a left turn from Centreville Road into Kinross Circle south (with construction slated to start spring of 1998). This year's nomination is a right-turn lane into Chantilly High school from northbound Stringfellow Road. The Land Use committees’ recommendations for the forthcoming year include the construction of a pedestrian access under I-66 at Route 29 and the installation of a traffic signal on the east side of that intersection. The second recommended spot improvement was to improve the timing of lights on the Fairfax County Parkway from I-66 to the Dulles Toll Road.
Dick Frank, the Sully representative to the Transportation Advisory Commission, pointed out that the County and VDOT expected to complete the synchronization of the county's traffic signals within 12 months. With that information the committee was tasked to reprioritize the nominations it had received and report back in December.
- Deborah Leser, the Sully Representative to the Non-Motorized Trails Committee, asked the council to support a proposal from her committee. The committee she sits on proposes to have the Board of Supervisors direct the county office of planning to implement trails in the initial design phase so they don't get overlooked and fall through the cracks at a later times.
Sully District Council Minutes
Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes