Residents Approve County Bonds

Residents Approve County Bonds

County voters approved the four bond referendums on Tuesday's ballot, authorizing the county to use $51,300,000 for road projects, $3,450,000 for public safety facilities and $9,330,000 for the renovation of the former school administration building.

Of the more than 80,000 residents who voted Tuesday, 57 percent voted for the road construction referendum, 64 percent voted for the road designs, 72 percent for the public safety facilities and 62 percent for the renovation project.

THE ROAD BONDS are a part of the county's efforts to fix the traffic issues facing residents.

The construction projects within the road referendum allows for $38,000,000 to be spent on the construction of a Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway interchange and Russell Branch Parkway from the Loudoun County Parkway to Richfield Way.

The referendum also included $13,300,000 for the design of six different road projects. Those projects include an interchange at Route 50 and Loudoun County Parkway, the widening of Route 50 from Poland Road (Route 742) to the Fairfax County line, an interchange at Route 7 and Belmont Ridge Road, and the four laning of Belmont Ridge Road from Gloucester Parkway to the Dulles Greenway. Project design for an interchange at Route 7 and Route 690 (Hillsboro Road), which will help with traffic for the new western Loudoun high school, and a Sycolin Road overpass over the Route 15/Route 7 bypass are also included in the question.

The board voted in June to create the Route 7 bond package, which developed into the current bond questions, because they believed it was time for the county to take decisive action about the county's road issues.

"People don't want talk anymore; they want to see some action," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said in June. "Unless someone is growing money trees to pay for these things, we have to take this on and we have to deliver the solutions and we have to be part of the solution."

THE $3,450,000 authorized by county residents will allow for the acquisition of land for three public safety facilities in the western portion of the county. The two fire and rescue stations would be located in Aldie and Neersville, and the western Loudoun Sheriff's substation would be at a yet-to-be-determined site.

As the county's population continues to increase and people move further west, the need for more advanced public safety facilities in the western half of the continues to grow, Howard Dawley, deputy chief for Planning and Administration, said.

"You have to consider the greater region," he said. "A lot of the fire calls are multiple station calls."

Both the Aldie and Neersville stations will be replacing existing stations, which were built decades ago and are out of step with the needs of modern fire and rescue companies.

THE NORTH STREET building's $9,330,000 renovation will allow for the creation of a new Leesburg senior center. The new center will replace the existing center, which, seniors say, is little more than a meeting room.

Senior Barbara Kaylor said the new facility will give Leesburg seniors a chance to expand their programs and attract more members.

"The baby boomers are coming along," she said, "and they are going to be able to get a lot out of this."

Also housed in the renovated structure will be the Library Services administration, which will move from its rented location, which director Douglas Henderson will save the county money.

"We're in rented space right now," he said. "[The county] pays about $400,000 in rent per year."

The new center is expected to open around fall 2008.