Looking Ahead into 2005

Looking Ahead into 2005

Town staff and council members anticipate new year's challenges, goals.

With 2004 over, council members, Mayor Michael O'Reilly and Town Manager Stephen Owen estimate what realistically could be finished in 2005 and what they would like to see altered in the town's Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

"There'll be a lot of ribbon cuttings," said O'Reilly about the new year.

With some major projects finally reaching the construction phases at the end of 2004, Owen said town staff would be busy in 2005 — especially with the $2 million Herndon Community Center renovations to increase parking and floor space as well as the construction of the new police station.

IN ADDITION to projects being completed, council member Harlon Reece reminded members at a Dec. 7 budget strategy session that the proposed Runnymede Park Nature Center needs to be placed at the top of the council's project list for 2005.

O'Reilly agreed saying "I'd love to see the Nature Center back on track," adding the council will also continue in its efforts to fight against overcrowding violations, move forward with finding a day labor site and hopefully see progress in the revitalization of the downtown area.

"We'll look back at the [overcrowding] ordinance and the effect of the two new [community inspector] hires to see how it's working," said O'Reilly about future overcrowding laws. "That will be a major focus in 2005 — we can't not focus on some of the other things, but we will concentrate some more attention on that in the next year."

OTHER MAJOR projects in 2005 include:

* The move of the Herndon Police Department from its current location to 397 Herndon Parkway — where it will see a sizable expansion.

* A vote by council on the new Rail to Dulles plan — making it a reality for the town and prompting the development of a plan for a Monroe Street Metro Station.

* The completion of the Fortnightly Square Developments across from the library on Center Street.

* Construction ending at Elden Street once the new Safeway opens.

* Continuing in the search for a permanent day labor site.

* Working toward the development of a cultural arts center and parking structure downtown.

* Continue in the search for developers to help with the revitalization of downtown Herndon.

* Construction to begin on the Commerce Center at Elden and Station Streets.