Bond Referendum Set for November

Bond Referendum Set for November

Voters will determine if $108 million in financing for schools and parks gets the green light.

On Nov. 2, citizens of Loudoun County will vote for more than just the next president — they will also decide the fate of a nine-item, $108 million bond referendum.

Despite the fact that nine individual projects make up the referendum, citizens will cast just two votes: one that encompasses five school projects for $92,605,000 and one that includes four community projects for $15,430,000.

Originally, the referendum included seven projects, with financing of the Dulles South Multi-Purpose Facility and the Loudoun Valley Community Center as last-minute additions at the July 20 Board of Supervisors' meeting.

Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) saw a chance to make an addition of her own.

"All I can say is, 'Christmas in July,'" Waters said. "If we're going to see some new additions, I'd like to put another on the table." She moved to add $28 million for the construction of Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park, a 460-acre project on Sycolin Road just outside Leesburg.

"Heavens, I can live with this," said Supervisor Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin), whose district also borders the proposed park. "I vote yes."

OTHER SUPERVISORS weren't as enthusiastic with the impromptu amendment. "It's irresponsible governance," said Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles). "It is beneath the dignity of this board."

Waters' motion was defeated, and the supervisors went on to discuss the merits of lumping the projects together in two votes or allowing citizens to vote on each individual item.

"How do you think the people of Loudoun County feel when you only give them two options?" asked Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling).

Supervisor Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) took the opposite view. "I am concerned about still lingering east-west issues," he said. "For the time being, I think we are better off with two questions than a series of questions."

The motion to include the bond referenda as two items rather than nine passed, with supervisors Delgaudio, Waters and Mick Staton opposing.

Citizens will vote to consider financing for five school projects:

* Construct Brambleton Area Elementary School, $12,935,000

* Construct Ashburn/Dulles Middle School, $25,445,000

* Renovate existing middle schools, $31,625,000

* Renovate and add to Loudoun County High School, $10,055,000

* Purchase land for two future elementary schools and two future middle schools, $12,545,000

Citizens will also vote to consider financing for four community projects:

* Construct Franklin Park Performing Arts Center, $1,400,000

* Construct Dulles South Multi-Purpose Facility, $9,000,000

* Renovate and add to Loudoun Valley Community Center, $3,730,000

* Purchase land for Lovettsville Park, $1,300,000

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the board approved pedestrian safety improvements to Augusta Drive in Sterling, including installing sidewalks, crosswalks and stop signs, at a cost of $184,650.

The board also approved the addition of a Gang Violence Task Force prosecutor to the Commonwealth Attorney's office. Because most of the funding comes from the state, the county will provide $15,000 of the $85,217 needed for the position.

Lastly, the board voted to cease proactive enforcement of sign violations while a new sign ordinance is being crafted.