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County News & Notes

Putting Brakes on Neighborhood Speeding

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors hosted a ceremony designating Sept. 15-Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Fairfax County.

In an effort to get drivers to slow down in residential neighborhoods, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved $350,000 to fund a public awareness campaign and “traffic calming” measures in the county Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock) initiated the measure last year, soliciting constituent support through an online petition, which resulted in more than 250 signatures and hundreds of emails from supporters.

“This marks the latest victory in a years-long struggle against dangerous driving in the county,” Cook said Tuesday.

"I hear from constituents consistently about speeding and unsafe driving in their neighborhoods,” Cook said, adding that this funding should be “just the start of Fairfax County's enhanced campaign against the dangers of speeding.”

The "traffic calming" could include the installation of speed bumps in neighborhoods, as well as stepped-up enforcement and radar patrols.

The public awareness effort is expected to use traditional and online media to communicate the dangers of speeding in neighborhoods, and ask residents to commit to voluntary compliance with speed limits and safe driving practices. Cook will ask civic and homeowners associations to join in this effort to lead residents in a shared commitment to slow down and drive safely in our neighborhoods.

Nearly $200,000 of the approved funding will be used for traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps and stop signs, in areas with frequent speeding issues at the request of residents. State funding for traffic calming ended recently and these funds would close some of the gap until state funding is restored.

"This effort is a first step,” Cook said. “Greater traffic enforcement and enhanced technology for our police should be addressed in the years to come. But most importantly this effort calls on our residents to work together for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

Fairfax County Employees to Receive $850 Fall Bonus

As a result of a $94 million year-end surplus in the FY2013 budget, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday, Sept. 10, to give county employees an $850 bonus this fall, which amounts to about $500 after taxes, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-large).

The board unanimously approved the resolution outlining the spending plan for the FY 2013 Budget Carryover package. Carryover is the process by which certain unspent or unencumbered funds for commitments to pay for goods and services at the end of one fiscal year are appropriated in the next fiscal year.

The FY 2013 Budget Carryover Package includes:

  • $10.2 million to fund a one-time compensation adjustment of $850 to county merit employees to recognize the hard work of county employees and the high quality services that they provide to the community. The FY 2014 Adopted Budget does not include an employee salary or market-rate adjustment increase.

  • $6 million to fund the first half of voting machine replacement. Fairfax County’s current voting equipment has reached the end of its life cycle. With the availability of funding in the FY 2013 Carryover Package, the first portion of the new equipment will be in place for elections in FY 2015 and FY 2016 and the remainder will be purchased for the 2016 presidential election in FY 2017.

  • $2.5 million funding to accelerate the opening of the Wolf Trap Fire Station, which will allow for the location of a tanker truck at the station by October 2013 and the full operation of the station by July 2014.

  • $2.2 million to fund the opening of the Mid-County Human Services Center. The 200,000-square-foot facility will replace the Woodburn Center and include programs such as: 24/7 emergency services, mental health, substance use disorder, intellectual disability, emergency, health and wellness, and youth and administrative services.

  • $1.5 million funding to match School Board funds to continue to develop new synthetic turf fields throughout the county.

More information on the Fairfax County Budget can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget.

Extreme Makeover for County’s Home Page

Fairfax County’s refreshed home page is now live with versions for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The design is “smarter and more customer-friendly,” according to county officials.

After reviewing years of customer usage patterns, county officials reported that about 75 percent of all “clicks” went to only 29 links, out of a total 110 links.

County officials said the new home page “reduced visual clutter and unused links while building a page that’s more visually appealing and responsive to the devices you’re using today.” Take a look at the new home page at www.fairfaxcounty.gov, and take a short survey telling the county what you think.