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Votes

Roundup

<b>County Approves

$942.3 Million CIP</b>

At their June 26 meeting, County Board members approved a $942.3 million Capital Improvement Program for fiscal 2005-2010, including money for the North Tract park as well as other projects in transportation, schools, and parks and recreation.

“This is the framework for the county’s investment into its infrastructure in coming years,” said County Manager Ron Carlee.

The county portion of the six-year CIP is $382.8 million, the schools’ portion is $251.1 million and $308.4 million goes to county utilities. The CIP is a planning document that outlines Arlington’s long range capital improvement objectives and priorities.

As they prepared to approve this CIP, Board members raised issues they hope to see funded on the next CIP. Many residents sent the Board mail about Lubber Run Park, in North Arlington, said Board Chair Barbara Favola. “That’s an issue for future planning. It’s troubling to read that the roof is leaky.”

School plans should take a look at Wakefield High School, said County Board member Chris Zimmerman. “Part of what we’re approving is the school CIP, and we don’t do anything with that,” he said. “Wakefield not appearing for a couple-decade period is amazing.”

Arlington updates the CIP every two years. Proposed capital projects frequently include parks, recreation, public safety, community conservation, technology, pedestrian systems, transportation, school utilities and other capital programs. Arlington updates the CIP every two years. Since the proposed CIP’s release in mid April, the County Board held a CIP Public Hearing on May 25.

The approved CIP focuses on several critical initiatives that preserve and enhance the County’s infrastructure, including:

* North Tract — The North Tract Master Plan will transform the 28.5-acre industrial site in South Arlington along the Potomac into a park with indoor aquatic facilities, a sports and fitness center and multiple synthetic grass athletic fields. Phase 1 of the North Tract is projected to cost approximately $50 million.

* Transportation — the County will expand pedestrian programs, including WALKArlington, to increase transportation options. Arlington will also invest almost $75 million in Metro presence over the next six years.

Many of these projects will be included in the November 2004 bond referendum. Current bond referenda from county and schools scheduled for that ballot total $208 million. Additional information about the CIP is available on <a href=http://www.co.arlington.va.us/dmf/cip/index.htm>the County’s website</a>.

<b>Police Arrest Man for Sexual Abuse</b>

On Thursday, June 17, detectives with the Arlington Police Department's Special Victims Unit arrested 41-year-old Thomas Richard Koucky, of Arlington, and charged him with one count of carnal knowledge of a child.

After an investigation, detectives said Koucky may have had inappropriate contact with many other children, and ask for the public's help. Police ask anyone with any information about Koucky, especially about his contact with children, to call.

Police said that Koucky may use positions of trust, offers of money or drugs to attract teenage boys and gain their compliance. He has lived in other Northern Virginia jurisdictions.

Koucky is a convicted child sex offender in Maryland. The charge he faces in Arlington is a Class 4 felony, punishable by two to 10 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $100,000. The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges may be forthcoming, police said. Koucky is currently free on $3,000 bail.

Anyone with information about Koucky should call Det. Jim Stone at 703-228-4245 or the local police department's non-emergency number. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may submit information through Crime Solvers at 800-673-2777. Callers to Crime Solvers do not have to give their name, do not need to testify in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

<b>Crystal City Streets

Change to Two-Way</b>

County staff joined Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty on Monday to announce a new pedestrian and vehicular circulation system in Crystal City. Through this initiative, circulation in and around Crystal City will work much like other pedestrian-oriented downtown districts, with two-way streets configured in an urban grid system.

Today, Crystal City has over 10 million square feet of office space, thousands of residential units, over a dozen hotels, over 200 shops and restaurants, and a developed infrastructure of transit and amenities.

New Transportation Features:

*Crystal Drive from 23rd Street to 15th Street is now two-way, with two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes — with bike lanes on both sides of the street. Metered retail parking is located on the west side of Crystal Drive.

* 20th, 18th and 15th streets have become two-way as well.

* All new intersections have new traffic signals and signage.

* New access into Crystal City from Route 1 via 20th Street, with a new turn lane.

* New addressing of office buildings that re-align building addresses with street locations and identify buildings by their street addresses.

* New pedestrian circulation enhancements, including signaled crosswalks with count-down screens (and sound signals for the visually impaired), and a new entry into the Route 1 pedestrian underpass tunnel from 23rd Street.

* New directional signs

* Other traffic control features, including intersection monitoring cameras to provide early alert of traffic issues and accidents.

The transportation enhancements are the first phase of a broader redevelopment program underway for Crystal City’s future. The second phase features a new urban “Main Street” in the heart of Crystal City on Crystal Drive. Opening this fall, the new streetscape will feature dynamic storefronts, energetic street graphics, and “destination” restaurants and eateries.