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No Offers for Day Labor Site

Operators cite lack of perceived profit

A deadline for proposals by businesses who were pitched an idea of starting a new, for-profit day labor site in Herndon that would check for legal identification of workers has passed with no offers.

Four parties were presented with the opportunity by the town's neighborhood resource department at a public pre-proposal conference on January 23, according to Elizabeth Hagg, Herndon's neighborhood resource director. None of those parties responded with a proposal by the February 9 deadline, she said.

Hagg, speaking at a Herndon work session told the mayor and council members that there had been concerns raised by those present at the conference over a lack of profit in the venture and too high risk of insurance liabilities. She added that parties expressed more interest in the town picking up some of the operating costs or staffing responsibilities.

Mayor Steve DeBenedittis said that the council would need to think about possible next steps following the presentation. Council members made no comment.

Herndon issued a request for proposals last month to private organizations to establish a new day labor site in town that would check for work authorization status. The town's current site, operated for about the last year by non-profit organization Project Hope & Harmony, does not check for work authorization status, stating that it is not its legal responsibility as it is not employing the workers.

DeBenedittis and most members of the council won election last spring due in part to their strong opposition to illegal immigration and the current day labor site.

The Project Hope & Harmony site is primarily operated by funds provided in a contract with Fairfax County worth approximately $175,000. The town allows the group to use a parking lot at the headquarters for zoning enforcement authorities at the corner of Sterling Road and Rock Hill Road.