Here’s Where RA Plans to Spend on Improvements in 2016-17

by Karen Goff November 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm 22 Comments

Pony Barn Renderings, July 30, 2015/Credit: RAReston Association’s Board of Directors is in the midst of budget planning for 2016 and 2017 and is eying spending more than $5 million over the two years on a long list of improvements, including a revamp of the Pony Barn recreation area and the Central Services area.

The association is looking at a $2.4 million Capital Repair and Replacement Budget for next year (boosted by $98,000 from Comstock’s $650,000 developer contribution from the Tetra purchase and the addition of BLVD apartments). The proposed budget will be $2.8 in 2017, with a $48,000 influx of Comstock money.

What’s RA planning on doing with the money? Repairing aging facilities, of course, but also acquiring some new additions.

There will be a public hearing on RA’s proposed 2016-17 budget Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at RA offices, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr. The RA Board — which says assessments will likely be $657 in 2016 — will vote on the biennial budget and member assessment rates by the end of the year.

Here are some of the planned spending areas:

Trails: $176,130 (2016) and $181,414 (2017) for asphalt overlays on RA trails.

Ball fields: $87,080 (2016) and $99,096 (2017) for ball field renovation and repair, including: Renovation and a new backstop at two Hook Road fields; renovation and a new backstop at Lake Newport fields; and a new backstop at Brown’s Chapel fields.

Lakes: $319,300 for repairs and replacement of the Lake Anne dock. Partial payment for the Lake Anne Dam ($480,583); a Lake Anne Outlet Riser ($266,602); a Lake Anne Outlet Barrel ($24,175) and $313,600 for Lake Newport dredging.

Central Services: $1.6 million over the two years for renovations at the Central Services facility.

Pony Barn: $175,000 each year for renovations at the Pony Barn. This project began with RA setting aside $30,000 to add lighting and a new floor in the aging picnic pavilion. Community and citizen committee recommendations, however, morphed the approved project into one with new play equipment, better accessibility for those with disabilities and kiosks with historical info, among other amenities.

Fleet: $223,304 in 2016 for vehicle maintenance and additions; $108,000 to purchase two camp buses. RA currently leases vans in summer for camper transportation.

Miscellaneous: $15,000 for improved path lighting in 2016 and $95,352 for an improved telephone call management system.

See the entire proposal draft on RA’s website.

Graphic: Pony Barn improvement rendering/Credit: RA

  • Ming the Merciless

    Wait… we need to improve stuff? And that costs money? And how much did we spend on Tetra, again?

    • Chuck Morningwood

      Maybe we could flatten Tetra so that we don’t have to pay upkeep on that. I’m reluctant to suggest that, though, as I don’t want to encourage the NoRes NIMBYs loudly supporting the purchase with potentially unobstructed views of the lake.

      • cRAzy

        How about putting it a 24-hour roller coaster there!?!

    • Greg

      Way. Too. Much. And, the financials will only get worse once the income fails to meet the debt service, operational cost and “programming.”

  • meh

    Why in God’s name do we have a pony barn?

    • Richard

      We don’t. There used to be a pony barn at the site of the pavilion at the corner of Triple Crown Rd and Steeplechase Dr. The open space about 200 yards South along Steeplechase used to be a riding ring.

      • Richard

        …my kids and I drove across town to walk our dog through those trails just last weekend. Lovely part of Reston, but you probably wouldn’t know that as you seem to consider the area around Hunter’s Woods to be a crime-infested, poverty-stricken wasteland.

      • Greg

        So, then, why do we need a pony barn?

        • cRAzy

          Wake up, Greg & meh! This issue has been discussed several times here on RestonNow. We used to have a pony barn that existed maybe even before Simon bought the whole shebang. It was used for a couple of decades as a pony barn with the nearby horse trails up & down Glade stream.

          The issue recently has been what to do with the land. An RA committee proposed a nature park as shown in the graphic at the top of this article (click on it to see a better view). It is a beautiful area and this is an appropriate use.

          Much wiser use of money than Tetra for sure, but then just about ANYTHING would be.

          • Karen Goff

            Yes. the actual Pony Barn burned down in 1980 or so. What is there now (and just named Pony Barn) is a picnic pavilion, a grassy area and a swing set. It is a modest park to be sure. But the pavilion needs to be repaired, and that has morphed from a small project to a $300K+ one. We have written about this many times over the last two years on Reston Now. To recap: No actual ponies or barns; just better play equipment, a new pavilion, a butterfly garden, etc.

          • Greg

            The reporting has been often and detailed. Thank you for that. May I suggest that if this effort proceeds, and I opine that it not, it be renamed something less confusing and more relevant and contemporary?

            Not so many of us around who were born before 1980…and there may just be a few of us, born whenever, who might expect to find ponies and a barn at a place called the pony barn.

            I can’t imagine that happening here in Reston where everything, and the transparency at the RA, is as clear as the water in Lake Anne in August, but just saying.

          • Greg

            Sorry, it was nap time. I am awake now, but I must demur on your opinion on use of money.

            I don’t agree we need more (nature) parks. I thought most parks are connected with nature, but what do I know? Apparently we in Reston have forgotten that nature, left alone, is a park. We don’t need to spend very scarce and windfall money on messing with nature.

            We need more garden plots which are virtually cost free to RA’s assessment payers, and more to the point, produce food for those who use them and return organic matter to nature rather than sending it to the incinerator. And, let’s not forget there is a very long waiting list for even a tiny garden plot, and we have a great abundance of social housing in and around Reston.

            I’ve yet to see a horse or pony anywhere in Fairfax County in recent years. Many years ago, I encountered one in Great Falls, but none in Reston.

          • Cathie Gorman Freeman

            What do you mean “virtually cost free?” Mine’s not free.

          • Greg

            Low cost for the RA to maintain, and most of that cost is covered by user fees unlike pools and tennis.

  • Sec8

    How much money is budgeted to remove the graffiti created by the Section 8 dwellers from the RA trails?

  • Greg

    $1.6 million for the central services facility is way too much. RA should sell that property since it’s a keystone entry point to Reston and yet it’s one of the ugliest of all facilities in Reston. Trailers, maintenance supplies, boats and everything else there should be relocated to a less visible place on less valuable land.

    • kbikeva

      And that less visible less valuable place would be … where? RA doesn’t have another place and if you think the NIMBY’s are huge with Tetra, just imagine the outcry if the CSF was to be relocated into any existing large parcel of RA land. As to the cost, the facility has no reliable heat/ac or communications. This expense has been kicked down the road way too many times and now the RA employees who work out of there are at physical risk in current conditions.

      • Greg

        How about under the power lines along Sunset Hills or near the VDOT maintenance yard? A marvelous concept most of us learned in kindergarten is sharing. RA can share space with VDOT. There’s space in nearby Herndon. Communications? How can that be unreliable? Get a cell phone. No HVAC system for a warehouse ever cost $1.6 million. And what “physical risk” do the overpaid RA staff face?

    • Novaer

      Valuable, are you crazy? One half sits on top of a giant natural gas main line and the other under giant high voltage powerlines. That land could be nothing but industrial.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Maybe they could use that money to install an overpass across Colt’s Neck and fill in the tunnel underneath. That would go a long way towards reducing the hiding places for the local hoodrats.


Subscribe to our mailing list