Happy New Year! As I reflect on 2022 and look forward to new beginnings in 2023, I am inspired, energized and thankful for all that the Mount Vernon community means to me and many of you. Together we have made great progress in connecting our community, revitalizing the Richmond Highway corridor, providing life-long learning opportunities and working to help every resident and business owner reach their full potential. There is still much to do and look forward to our continued success.
We’ve been busy. This past year we opened the Lorton Community Center, Senior & Teen Centers, Library and Park, with a new home for the Lorton Community Action Center. This first-of-its-kind in the County co-located facility provides growth opportunities for all ages and abilities in a historically underserved area. The excitement and enthusiasm at the center and in the community is a tremendous affirmation of the critical needs it serves. We also welcomed a host of new businesses from Amazon Fresh in Lorton to a new Ourisman Kia dealership on the highway. Other notable accomplishments include increasing our countywide affordable housing commitment, starting construction for a human development center at Original MVHS, establishing the Hollin Hills Historic Overlay District, continuing to improve our environment and launching the Potomac Banks brand and savings pass to increase tourism spending at our local businesses.
One notable goal we did not accomplish in 2022 was securing funding for undergrounding utilities on Richmond Highway. While this remains a high priority for our community and me, the challenges and complexities with securing Federal Transit Administration funding and the support needed from the Board for the tens of millions of County dollars needed makes this not possible at this time. I will continue to make this a funding priority, look for alternatives and expect undergrounding on any new developments.
In 2023, we look forward to launching our Community Ambassador Program to connect our many knowledgeable leaders with even more District residents, completing the Gum Springs heritage resources study and our Lorton 2040 Vision and opening the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway trail to Richmond Highway. The Mount Vernon Rec Center begins its two-year renovation to become a new state-of-the-art facility, several new walkable, livable communities will open and we will welcome Bunnyman Brewery to the Workhouse Campus. Our annual events will continue from the Ides of Bark Dog Festival on March 26 to the Tour de Mount Vernon Community Bike Ride on October 21, which for the first time will ride on a closed George Washington Memorial Parkway. Most importantly, our 36th Annual Town Meeting will take place on Saturday, February 11 at Mount Vernon High School and virtually on Fairfax County Channel 16 and Facebook. The ever-popular exhibit hall will open at 7:45 a.m., followed by a formal program at 9:30 a.m. featuring guest speakers and answers to your questions, and a virtual tour of the District.
There is much more to tell you about our 2022 accomplishments and 2023 focus and investments, so keep an eye out for our annual mailer – Supervisor Dan Storck’s Advisor – coming to your mailbox in the coming weeks to learn more.
Wishing each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year filled with hope, kindness, learning and compassion!