Supervisors Authorize Bond Referendum for Parks, Transportation and Human Services

Fairfax County logoThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to authorize the addition of bond questions to the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.

If approved, part of the $312 million in bonds will go for various county improvements, including a contribution for Metro equipment and the replacement of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston.

Building a new shelter is already in the plans for the Reston Town Center North Area. A new shelter is likely to be located close to where the current one is located on Bowman Townr Drive. The bond money would provide $48 million for Embry Rucker, as well as several other county shelters.

Voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on three bond questions totaling $312 million for transportation, parks and human services.

The supervisors’ vote allows the county to petition the Circuit Court to order the referendums. Under state law, the county must petition the court to put a referendum on the ballot.

If approved by Fairfax County voters, the money is intended to provide:

  • Metro boost: $120 million to help pay for the county’s share to Metro’s capital improvement program that includes safety and system maintenance projects, new rail cars and power upgrades for running eight car trains, additional buses for operating Priority Corridor Networks, and rail station improvements to increase the capacity of the system’s infrastructure.
  • Parks improvements: $107 million to fund priority needs identified in the county Park Authority’s needs assessment ($94.7 million) and sustain the county’s capital contribution to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for another four years ($12.3 million). Reston-area parks such as Lake Fairfax Park would benefit from the general countywide improvements.
  • Social Services: $85 million to replace the Sully Senior Center and a new Lorton Community Center ($37 million) and renovate, expand or replace the Patrick Henry, Embry Rucker, Eleanor Kennedy, and Bailey’s emergency shelters for people who are homeless ($48 million).

Two weeks ago, the supervisors authorized a meals tax question to be added to the General Election ballot.

Fairfax County voters will be asked to authorize a 4-percent meals tax for county areas that do no currently have one (including Reston). A meals tax is expected to add about $100 million to the county annually, about 70 percent of which would go to Fairfax County Public Schools.

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