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New Shelter, Fire Station on County List for Reston

by Karen Goff — March 20, 2015 at 11:00 am 8 Comments

Fairfax CountyReplacement of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter and several Reston-area fire stations are on Fairfax County’s list of projects to tackle in the five-year advertised Capital Improvement Program.

County Executive Ed Long recently released the CIP to show the county’s priorities during the next budget cycle and enable the county to plan for the future.

Long has proposed a $3.8 billion overall advertised budget, with $22.04 million from the general fund going to support capital improvements. Tens of millions more will come from bond referendums in the future.

Long says county staff is “currently working to prioritize all county projects to develop specific recommendations for the next two county referenda scheduled for fall 2016 (FY 2017) and fall 2018 (FY 2019). An amount between $200 and $250 million is included in the CIP for planning purposes.

Meanwhile, Long has also predicted a budget gap of more than $90 million as the county gets ready to plan for 2017. The real estate tax rate in the county will stay the same as in 2014 — $1.09 per $100 of assessed value.

“We have turned over every rock for cost-saving opportunities,” he wrote in the introduction to the CIP.

There will be public hearings on the budget in general on April 7 (4 p.m.), 8 and 9 (both 1 p.m.) at the Fairfax County Government Center. The budget markup will happen on April 21, and the Board of Supervisors will vote on it on April 28.

Meanwhile, here are the Reston-area projects mentioned in the Capital Improvement Program through 2020:

Reston Town Center North: This project currently includes $700,000 to develop an overall master plan that reconfigures and provides integrated redevelopment of various Fairfax County and Inova properties at Reston Town Center North (south of Baron Cameron Avenue between Town Center Parkway and Fountain Drive).

Three facilities impacted by the redevelopment are the Reston Library, the Embry Rucker Shelter, and the North County Human Services Center. Fairfax County plans to solicit an initial Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure (PPEA) for two County-owned parcels, known as Blocks 7 and 8, on which the library and shelter are currently located. The County will solicit a future PPEA for the remaining parcels, including the parcel containing the North County Human Services Center, after a Development Agreement is signed by Fairfax County and Inova.

The entire project is expected to cost $20 million.

South Lakes High School: $14,650,406 for capacity enhancements. Construction funds are unfunded.

Herndon High School: $102,139,918 for the renovation of this facility. Construction funds are unfunded.

Synthetic Turf Maintenance: Funding in the amount of $6,735,338 has been included for the countywide athletic field maintenance and sports program in FY 2016. This level of funding is supported by an increased General Fund transfer.

Reston Community Center Improvements: $647,000 is required for the replacement of the RCC backstage HVAC unit, replacement of the CenterStage theatre roof sections, replacement of the Hunters Woods front building area, and replacement of light fixtures.

Reston Regional Library: $10,000,000 for a new Reston library. The current library site has been identified as part of Reston Town Center North, which is currently being studied for possible redevelopment to create a more urban, mixed-use and governmental development. The Reston Library may be relocated as part of the overall development. Funding for this library was approved as part of the fall 2012 Library Bond Referendum.

Fox Mill Fire and Rescue Station Renovation: The county estimates $11,000,000 is needed to repair or replace the existing station, built in 1979. The station needs an expansion of the current station to a three-bay station, a separate gym/workout room, a personal protective gear locker area, women’s locker room, shop area, apparatus bay and medical storage, and decontamination area. The station might have to house additional staff as population increases in area.

Reston Fire and Rescue Station Renovation:  Station 25 (at Wiehle and Sunset Hills), one of the 10-busiest stations in the county, was built in 1972 and last renovated in 1986. $13,000,000 is needed for replacement as the building systems and infrastructure are well beyond the end of their life cycle. The replacement would include an expansion to a four-bay station. The fire station lacks women’s accommodations to include bunk rooms, lockers and bathroom facilities to meet 50 percent of minimum shift staffing. It is also in need of a workout room, an expanded men’s locker room area and laundry facilities.

Reston’s expected high-density growth will increase the demand for emergency medical services. A larger fire station provides the necessary flexibility and capacity to add emergency responders and units at the Reston Fire and Rescue Station to improve response times to emergency incidents and to meet future demand for all services.

Embry Rucker Community Shelter: The county seeks to renovate or replace existing shelter, built in 1987. Estimated cost is $12,000,000. Redevelopment of the site will create the need for the shelter to be relocated. The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, also seeks to evaluate and leverage the property and services to provide a more cost effective solution to reduce homelessness by adding new, permanent housing units.

The entire 240-page CIP program can be found on Fairfax County’s website.

  • Ming the Merciless

    “We have turned over every rock for cost-saving opportunities,”

    Except for the “quit spending money” rock, anyway.

  • Dave

    Or reversing the recent salary increases for Supervisors.

  • RestonLyons

    It seems the library should remain in this high density residential area as resident can walk to the library. We walk to it now.

    • Karen Goff

      Yes the library is planned for at or near the same spot.

      • RestonLyons

        I wrote a response, but it disappeared when I signed in.

        “The current library site has been identified as part of Reston Town Center North, which is currently being studied for possible redevelopment to create a more urban, mixed-use and governmental development. The Reston Library may be relocated as part of the overall development.” The question is what does it being relocated mean? It could mean another location in this more urban, mixed use and governmental development or moved to a low density area where it could be a stand alone building with a large parking lot but a place most people would have to drive to.

        I was really taken back by this:

        “The county seeks to renovate or replace existing shelter, built in 1987. Redevelopment of the site will create the need for the shelter to be relocated. The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, also seeks to evaluate and leverage the property and services to provide a more cost effective solution to reduce homelessness by adding new, permanent housing units.”

        I was involved in getting the shelter built in 1987 and after that was a Fairfax County social worker at the Baileys Shelter. Now in the two areas I frequent, downtown DC and Reston, I see more homeless men and women than I did when the shelter was built. Being homeless is more than just needing a place to live. The above comments from the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness sounds very naive to me, not that I don’t completely support affordable housing units. Local churches now provide support for the overflow singles during the winter. Obviously that is not because the shelter population has decreased.

        • Karen Goff

          The loose plans for the library – I don’t think there are specific ones yet – are somewhere in the Town Center North area. Most likely on the same spot. The issue is how to incorporate it into a mixed use area (ie office building/residences nearby or even in same building).

          • RestonLyons

            I am definitely willing for you to be right!

          • Enough already

            There is NO need for the Rucker shelter to be located adjacent to the library or in Reston at all for that matter. What it does is import an undesirable element to a building frequented by children, seniors, etc – bathing in the library restrooms, pandering out front, etc…along with homeless who come there camping in the woods or sleeping in the bus shelters at night…adjacent to a day care facility, an elder care facility…what homeless population does Reston have? The existence of the shelter is the reason the homeless are there! Why accommodate/import homeless into an area of the county where this problem is minimal? I am sure the residents in the condos in and around the town center were never told this facility was there in the sales brochures.

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