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Frey Answers Questions about Local Issues

After giving an update on the "State of Sully" during Monday night's WFCCA quarterly meeting, Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) answered questions from the audience about local issues.

THE TOPICS included trails, development, day laborers and two road projects. And Little Rocky Run's Al Francese started things off by asking about a trail improvement along Union Mill Road.

Noting that his community isn't getting money for it from Fairfax County, he asked if there's a "philosophical shift" in the county away from trail funding. But Frey said that's not the case.

"We're getting more involved," he said. "The transportation bond in 2004 had $8 million or $9 million for trails. We just haven't had extra money for trails from the general fund. The bond we'll put on the ballot this year will have some money for trails."

Frey also pointed out that the county does have funding for the trail along Route 29. The trail along the Trinity Centre property in Centreville currently ends at the ramp leading to I-66 east.

But the county will take it from there, under the bridge where I-66 crosses over Route 29, and link it with the existing trail on the west side of the I-66 ramps where they intersect with Route 29. But, said Frey, "There's a gas line there that has to be moved, so it'll be March or April before work begins."

Kathie Anastas of Centre Ridge said she has a problem with the increasing number of day laborers outside the Centreville Regional Library. And she asked if local police could be empowered to enforce federal immigration laws.

But Frey said the county couldn't afford it because "we only have eight officers per shift to cover their area and we don't have enough officers for anything else. Besides that, he added, it's not an official, day-laborer site.

"Most of the folks who go there used to live in the Knolls [of Newgate] and now live in The Meadows [since the Knolls has closed down]," he explained. "And they used to get picked up [in the Knolls] for work."

Frey said that just gathering on public property is not a crime. "At this point, we're gathering facts and trying to develop a strategy," he said. "They hope to be demolishing the Knolls by the end of February. But the police are aware of the situation and do cruise by."

PLEASANT VALLEY'S Scott Miller asked if Fairfax planned to join Loudoun and Prince William counties in their "development freezes," and Frey advised him that it's more of a "hiatus on rezonings" than a freeze on development. He also said he fears it'll be a "huge negative" and he doesn't support it.

"To me, it's symbolism without substance," said Frey. "It's worse because, when people see previously approved rezonings [beginning construction], they feel misled."

WFCCA President Ted Troscianecki asked for an update on the Route 28/Braddock/Walney roads project. VDOT plans major directional changes in that vicinity to better move traffic and decrease accidents.

"I'm going to meet with VDOT this month and come to a decision and get it moving," replied Frey. "VDOT really wants to do it from an efficiency and safety standpoint. It's now in the top 5 percent of the worst intersections in the commonwealth.

"We're still trying to evaluate the impact [of the proposed changes] on the community," he continued. "But if they'll put in street lights in Sully Station to enhance pedestrian safety, I won't oppose it, so VDOT can get it done by early summer."

Frey also hopes to see the Stone Road improvement project started by this summer. It entails extending the Stone Road median from just below Newton Patent Drive to Route 29 and adding new, left-turn, stacking lanes in both directions on Stone. Also included is a traffic light by London Towne Elementary and the prevention of some left turns onto Stone.

Lastly — now that the Tri-County Connector won't go through Fairfax County, but only through Prince William and Loudoun — Mark McConn of Bull Run Estates asked Frey if he'll remove that road from Fairfax County's Comprehensive Plan. But Frey said no.

"I think there's a need for what's now the Bi-County Connector," he said. "But I don't think it solves anything we tried to do with the Tri-County. And taking it off the map would insure that it'll never get built — and I don't feel comfortable making decisions for people 20 years from now who may need it."