As Herndon’s manager and council consider the upcoming budget, a six-year plan of infrastructure projects is up for discussion again.
The list could contain 55 projects, including seven new ones, that would collectively require $177 million.
Numerous sources would cover the costs, such as nearly $53 million from Virginia Transportation Department Smart Scale funding, $17.3 million from federal funding, nearly $14.6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, nearly $13.9 million from town enterprise funding (consisting of user fees for services such as water and sewer) and $11.1 million from government bonds, according to a town presentation.
Town manager Bill Ashton is compiling the list for the town council, which would approve it for the upcoming 2023 fiscal year that starts July 1, 2022.
While a rolling list of projects was approved last year, new projects could include:
- $1.6 million for the municipal center’s fire alarm system due to a fire marshal directive.
- $225,000 for upgrading a police records management system that can address evolving data mandates and technology standards. The town says a vendor is moving away from an outmoded product line to a new dispatch-records system, and the cost would cover purchasing the new system, vendor support and data migration.
- $200,000 for a Herndon Metrorail promenade. A 500-foot-long gateway plaza some 60 to 70 feet wide would connect the new Metro stop to Herndon Parkway. The town expects developer contributions to assist with the project.
- $200,000 for upgrading council chambers’ technology equipment, such as gallery audio and additional lighting for improving webcasts and recordings.
- $100,000 for updating an aquatic office to expand and split a small shared office space for three full-timers into separate work areas.
- $30,000 for Center Street culvert improvement to improve a pedestrian route, barriers and fencing across from the Herndon municipal garage near the library.
- $25,000 for converting a softball field at Bready Park into eight pickleball courts.
Town guidelines call for contributing about $1 million in general funds from fiscal year 2024 to 2028.
Photo via Google Maps
Town officials reviewed a contract yesterday (Tuesday) to make street improvements for pedestrians along a key corridor in Herndon.
The 0.57-mile project affecting Van Buren Street, from Herndon Parkway to Spring Street, will involve a “complete streets” enhancement, according to the town.
During its work session, the council approved putting the item on a consent agenda for its regular meeting next week, where it’s slated to get the go-ahead.
Upgrades include the addition of curbs-and-gutters, widening of travel lanes to 11 feet, on-and-off-road bike lanes in each direction, five-foot-wide sidewalks, added crosswalks, traffic signals at Alabama Drive and more.
At the meeting, the town noted that A&M Corporation Construction was the low bidder at $5.3 million. The project involves local, regional and federal funds, and the town is prepared to approve an $800,000 (approximately 15%) contingency.
It’s part of an effort to upgrade pedestrian and bicycle connectivity with the pending Herndon MetroStation.
The Herndon Town Council could create a new diversity and inclusion committee.
The body, called the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, would be tasked with promoting and enhancing the town’s diverse community and connecting the community in a “partnership that celebrates equity and inclusion.”
The matter is up for discussion at a town council meeting tomorrow (Feb. 1).
Council members called on the town to create the committee in July of last year in order to make recommendations to the council that recognizes minority residents and business communities and follow policies that foster diversity and inclusion at-large.
Here’s more from the town on the committee’s objective:
To engage the community by listening and discussing to understand the breadth and depth of issues related to inclusion and equity, and to suggest actionable steps to the Town Council so that under-represented members of our community are seen, heard, and included. The committee’s recommendations may include improvements to town services, practices that enhance diversity, and inclusive cultural programming and events.
The 11-member committee will include seven town residents, two members representing the business community, a non-resident, and one council member, who will serve as chair. Members will serve two-year terms.
The council meets tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the community room of the Herndon Police Department.
Other matters up for discussion include:
- Awarding a contract for improvements along Van Buren Street
- The approval of donations from Darrel Trust Funds to Educate Fairfax
- The approval of a contract for the carnival at the Herndon Festival
Photo via Town of Herndon
Following longstanding and growing complaints over parking issues, Town of Herndon officials adopted an ordinance yesterday (Tuesday) to restrict how close drivers could park to driveways, one of several changes to overhaul parking rules.
“This is the number one issue in the town of Herndon,” Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said of parking problems, referring to commercial vehicles parking in the town as well as vehicles with expired tags.
The changes, approved by Herndon Town Council, go into effect immediately. Among the new rules, the ordinance:
- bans various vehicles — such as those weighing more than 12,000 pounds or being longer than 21 feet — from parking in residential areas for more than two hours at a time
- restricts recreational vehicles from temporarily parking longer than 72 hours on a residential street
- allows the town to impose $50 fines on motorists who block curb ramps; it also allows officials to fine drivers $50 if they park within 5 feet of a driveway
Herndon police had recommended restricting parking within 10 feet of a driveway, but council revised a proposed ordinance following a public hearing. Previously, the town could only fine vehicles $50 if a vehicle blocked access to a driveway.
Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said people recognized how Herndon’s parking was considerably less restrictive than neighboring Fairfax and Loudoun counties. She said one person defiantly challenged the town’s parking enforcement officer regarding how close a vehicle could be to a driveway.
DeBoard said last week during a work session that the town’s first approach is educating drivers before issuing tickets.
During the public hearing, homeowner Pat Voltmer of Missouri Avenue said she and neighbors have been filing weekly complaints since August due to large six- to 10-wheel vehicles taking up overflow parking on streets. The parking problems also made turning around on streets difficult and dangerous for service trucks, she said.
Residents also had voiced a safety issue over limited visibility when leaving driveways due to jam-packed streets, and frustrations also came from parked vehicles interfering with trash pickup.
“It makes me feel that now is the time to act. Probably before was the time to act,” Councilmember Sean Regan said.
Council members suggested further parking issues could be explored, such as adding more stop signs in the town.
A water main replacement project could reduce Herndon Parkway to one lane in each direction or require a detour to be incorporated, the Town of Herndon says.
The town council gave its support at a work session on Tuesday (Jan. 4) to the nearly $299,000 project, which will affect the parkway between Elden and Grove streets. The cost includes the option for a 10% contingency of $29,895.
The town expects to have more information on plans for rerouting traffic after a preconstruction meeting.
Construction could begin in the late winter or early spring. The contract will require the project to be done within six months of a notice to proceed, but the town’s Department of Public Works expects it to be done much sooner.
“[The] number of days selected for the contract was for potential material supply shortage,” a DPW staffer said in an email.
The project entails replacing about 700 feet of PVC pipe with ductile iron pipe. Water service to customers is not expected to be affected, according to the town.
Town spokesperson Anne Curtis said in an email that the project is needed to address a water main break as a result of age and material type.
Contract recipient Franco’s Liberty Bridge Inc. of Clinton, Maryland, had the lowest bid. Other bids ranged from $467,825 to $1.84 million.
Herndon residents fed up with parking-related problems are calling on the town to restrict when and where drivers can leave vehicles.
Citing frustrations with service and traffic disruptions from vehicles blocking driveways, mailboxes, and trash cans, residents on Madison Street submitted a petition on Nov. 15 requesting that the town create a residential parking permit zone for the street.
The Herndon Town Council discussed the request during a work session on Tuesday (Jan. 4).
Herndon looks to fix Madison Street problems
Under residential parking permit zones, people can’t park in certain spaces without a permit. Eligible residents and visitors can get permits for a $5 fee, and the zone doesn’t apply to driveways.
Herndon already has some parking permit zones in effect, including daily restrictions during the work week for Crest Drive and portions of Huntsman Place and Old Hunt Way. Those who violate the parking restrictions can be fined up to $100.
The town code’s criteria for establishing a residential permit parking program include:
- A petition supported by more than 60% of affected residents
- At least 65% of curbside spaces are occupied
- At least 25% of curbside spaces are occupied by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood
According to a staff report, resident Dawn Ruffin reported that all 14 spots in the 400 block of Madison Street are regularly occupied by residents of an adjacent neighborhood.
Ruffin collected signatures from all of the affected Madison Street residents for the petition.
The town previously blocked parking on the southern side of the roadway because it couldn’t get emergency equipment there, but problems with parked vehicles have persisted, Town Manager Bill Ashton said.
“During the hours of concern, almost all the occupied spaces are taken by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood,” Ashton said.
The new parking zone could span from midnight to 7 a.m. on Madison Street from Madison Ridge Lane to the end of the cul-de-sac.
To prevent the issue from shifting to another street, Ashton has proposed that the town council also direct staff to continue monitoring the area with the possibility of expanding the zone in the future.
The town council must hold a public hearing and approve an ordinance to establish the zone.
Parking problems seen across town
Similar issues with parking have been reported along Worchester Street, Merlins Lane, and other nearby areas, Councilmember Signe Friedrichs said.
“They are complaining about the very same thing and want to get this process started as well,” she said, wondering if the town might need a more comprehensive change, given the future opening of the Herndon Metro station.
Mayor Sheila Olem noted that another resident has shared concerns about commercial trucks parking on Crestview Drive around the 7-Eleven.
“I think we really need to do something on the parking as a whole,” Olem said, adding that she’d support the measure since they have nothing else and these residents sought relief.
Last August, the town considered creating a fee for drivers who block driveways but held off after failing to get full support from the council. Discussions of a holistic, town-wide plan to address parking issues emerged in December.
“It’s not one neighborhood,” Olem said. “It’s perpetual around the town.”
Town leaders agreed Tuesday to accept $5 million more from Fairfax County to finally begin the construction of a residential-retail-arts complex downtown.
The long-awaited development, which calls for 273 apartments, a parking garage, retail space and an arts center, will get $6.2 million from the county through the additional support.
“This is huge,” Councilmember Signe Friedrichs said. “This isn’t just a little bit of money; this is a lot of money,” she said of the county’s increased contribution. “We are so grateful.”
The new funding arrangement calls for releasing the $5 million in $1 million increments each year; payment would begin once the project gets an occupancy certificate for its first residential unit.
The support came after the town and developer agreed to equally split an estimated increase of $24.6 million of the project. Dennis Holste, economic development manager for the town, said that eight-figure increase was related to materials, labor and workforce restrictions “due to the pandemic.”
Town officials were unable to comment Wednesday what the breakdown of the additional costs involved. Comstock didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
In November 2020, the town and Comstock amended an earlier agreement with the company from 2017. The town then sold the nearly 4.7-acre parcel at 770 Elden St. to Comstock for over $10.06 million on Dec. 16, 2020, according to a county property database.
“I think this is a big win not just for the town but for the area,” said Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila, following the council’s unanimous vote to accept the county contribution, coming from an Economic Opportunity Reserve Fund, designed for strategic investments to stimulate growth.
Comstock has to start the project by Dec. 31, 2021 but can extend that by up to two years depending on market conditions or other matters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the town.
The Town of Herndon is considering a holistic plan to crack down on parking issues throughout the town — a move that some officials say is necessary and long overdue.
At a Herndon Town Council meeting earlier this month, Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said that issues with parking have grown over the last two years, resulting in a mounting number of complaints regarding overcrowded neighborhoods, oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, and other issues.
‘To be frank, Herndon has become the dumping ground for these [commercial] vehicles because there are no restrictions here,” DeBoard said, noting that some of these issues have been ongoing for 20 years.
Unlike Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the Town of Herndon has no specific parking restrictions for oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, motor homes parking on public streets, and vehicles parking too close to driveways. The town’s code lacks specific language regarding the dimensions of restricted commercial vehicles and a highly nonspecific law simply states that parking is prohibited in “a manner that is blocking a public or private driveway.”
Increased density in the area and projected population increases have created what DeBoard called a “real compression issue.”
Council member Jasbinder Singh said that some parking restrictions might be too onerous for some neighborhoods where parking is already limited and there are no alternatives for parking.
“We have a very different character in Herndon,” Singh said, particularly in neighborhoods where residents rely on commercial vehicles for their livelihoods. “There are a lot of crowded neighborhoods.”
Calls to address parking issues in the town are not new.
In 2017, the town responded by hiring a parking enforcement officer and using a ticketing device to catch offenders. In August, the Herndon Town Council tabled a plan to limit parking near driveways, instead asking the police department and the town’s attorney to evaluate parking issues from a more holistic standpoint.
The council is expected to continue discussion on the issue following the Dec. 7 meeting.
Currently, DeBoard said that some people take advantage of the town’s lack of restrictions by simply leaving their vehicles in neighborhoods to avoid parking fees at Dulles International Airport.
Councilmember Sean Regan suggested considering residential zoned parking, which sets aside controlled parking zones by permits.
After months of deliberation, the Town of Herndon has officially eased restrictions on accessory dwelling units.
The changes, approved unanimously by the Herndon Town Council earlier this month, allow the by-right use of ADUs in single-family units. The move eases current restrictions on renting out spaces inside and in detached units, which are were previously allowed only through special exceptions. The change also removes the age restriction on ADUs to those over 62 or disabled.
“People have told us they want it,” said council member Signe Freidrichs.
The move comes as neighboring jurisdictions loosen restrictions for accessory units. Fairfax County eased rules for home conversions in June.
Councilmembers said the policy change was a good method to increase the stock of affordable housing in the town while ensuring that the town’s essential workers and teachers could live where they worked.
“This is part of an overall revitalization of housing in Herndon that needs to be addressed,” said council member Cesar del Aguila, adding that he was not worried about the impacts of easing restrictions on ADUs.
While issues like changing the character of neighborhoods and overburdening infrastructure may arise, council member Pradip Dhakal noted that people are already renting out portions of their homes.
He said he was hopeful it would boost the town’s supply of affordable housing. He cautioned that it was not a solution to the issue.
David Stromberg, the town’s zoning administer, emphasized that residents would still need to comply with a variety of other requirements.
Town of Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem also noted that residents would still need to go through the zoning and permitting process, requiring code-compliant stoves, staff review of plans, and property inspections before the space is occupied.
Councilmembers debated the merits of allowing the by-right use of ADUs for townhouses. Councilmember Sean Regan suggested asking the town’s planning commission to revisit the issue in a separate process.
ADUs inside or attached to homes cannot exceed 40 percent of the main unit or 1,200 square feet. The maximum for detached units is 900 square feet. Only up to three people can live in an ADU separate and in addition to one family in the main unit.
One additional parking space would be required for ADUs while two would be required for detached units in single-family homes. For detached units, the town council also expanded setbacks from two feet to 10 feet on the rear and sides of the property. Comparatively, Arlington requires a five-foot setback while Alexandria’s setback varies between 1.5 and five feet.
While the effort is intended to allow the slow densification of the town, Stromberg said he only expects two or three by-right uses every year.
Photo via Town of Herndon
When Herndon mayor-elect Sheila Olem was sworn in last December, the traditional ceremony was much different than usual: It took place as a private affair with attendee limits due to COVID-19.
“We all got individually sworn in,” she said Monday, reflecting on her time in office. “It’s been a year.”
Olem previously listed COVID-19 as her top priority for her term, which lasts for two years. Since starting her new role, the town has scaled back from the staggering of schedules for public works crews, which began in 2020, to mitigate and help control the spread of the virus.
With vaccines now readily available and Olem fully vaccinated with a booster, all Pfizer-BioNTech shots for COVID-19, some pre-pandemic routines are returning. In June, meetings went back to in person. And in August 2020, the Herndon Community Center reopened.
Much has changed, but the pandemic’s effects still linger in this town of nearly 25,000 people. The Town Council is back to meeting in person, but face-mask-required signs still cover government buildings.
About 75% of the town’s costs are personnel, and town leaders, including the mayor, have sought to help keep their morale up, Olem said. The vacancy rate for the town’s 200-plus positions is 10% or higher, she said, noting that she and town Manager Bill Ashton will deliver meals to town departments to thank them for their service, although a holiday celebration with awards will have to be done virtually.
The town is also getting $25.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act money, so staff are reviewing how the funding could help with one-time expenses that they’re allowed to be used for, such as infrastructure costs. Olem noted money could be used for a pool-cleaning system at the Herndon Community Center.
The pandemic’s uncertainty comes as the town is still waiting for the Herndon Metrorail Station to begin serving the yet-to-open Silver Line Phase II extension, which would include service to the Dulles airport.
Mayor discusses development, parking and future
During Olem’s time as mayor, the town has begun moving forward with a proposal for three developers to pay $500,000 to help study an area for redevelopment. The review, within 1/4 to 1/2 miles of the Metro station, would cover an area mostly north of Herndon Parkway. A committee that will include a representative for each developer has not yet formed, but Olem said the town is in no way bound to the committee’s recommendations.
However, there is still no firm groundbreaking date on the delayed redevelopment of downtown Herndon by Comstock.
Meanwhile, the town considered in August whether rules should be changed to address off-street parking, which isn’t metered. Olem said other areas have done so and noted how commercial trucks can sit in areas in the town.
“We’ve got to bring this back,” she said. “If we don’t have anything on the books, there’s nothing we can do.”
The Town Council considered a proposal to allow $50 fines against drivers who park within 10 feet of driveways to help with safety due to traffic visibility and to help with access for trash pickup, but it decided during an Aug. 10 meeting that it would hold off on the matter. Council members asked for more information on neighborhoods affected and possible consequences.
For the remainder of her term, Olem, who has been on council since 2010, said she’s interested in maintaining Herndon’s sense of place and historical homes where possible.
The town council will review a resolution to adopt a new Investment and Portfolio Policy and to establish an Investment Oversight Committee during its 7 p.m. work session tonight at the Herndon Police Department Community Room, at 397 Herndon Parkway. If adopted, the change would be the first for the town’s policy since it was adopted in 2004.
The town’s staff lists three primary objectives of the policy, beginning with the general safety of the town’s financial position to ensure capital losses are avoided. Additionally, the policy would seek to readily establish liquidity with one day’s notice to meet the town’s needs in order to ensure proper coverage of expenses in order to protect against potential losses.
The final objective of the policy is aimed at designing the town’s portfolio to regularly exceed the higher total of either the average return on three-month U.S. Treasury bills or the average rate on federal funds, and “optimize returns on investment while adhering to all applicable federal, Virginia State Laws, and Local Statutes governing the investments of public funds,” according to a staff report.
All investment activity of public funds for the town are applied to the proposed investment policy and included in the Town of Herndon’s Comprehensive Financial Report. Those funds include the General Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, Chestnut Grove Cemetery Fund, Golf Course Fund, Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund, Capital Projects Fund, the American Rescue Recovery Act Fund, and others that may be created.
In addition to the potential adoption of the investment and portfolio policy, the town will consider establishing an Investment Oversight Committee to “review general investment strategies, monitor results; discuss internal controls, and economic updates,” according to staff documents.
The members of the committee would be composed of one member of the town council, a member of the town attorney’s office, the town manager, director of finance for the town, and one member of the public.
The scope and investment objectives would also include maintaining roles, responsibilities and standard of financial care, and establish suitable and authorized investments while creating investment diversification.
Also, the policy objectives would include risk and performance standards, as well as maintaining a list of authorized financial institutions that may provide investment services and a list of approved security brokers or dealers also authorized to provide investment services in the state.
Additional objectives include securing the town’s assets through third-party custody and safekeeping procedures to protect against potential fraud and embezzlement, and establishing reporting and disclosure standards for reports to be delivered to the town manager and Investment Oversight Committee.
The Town of Herndon is seeking roughly $4.6 million in regional funds for planned improvements at the future intersection of Herndon Parkway and Worldgate Drive.
The $6.5 million project includes a new traffic signal at the intersection and the addition of a new dedicated turning lane, according to a staff memo.
The lanes, cycle tracks and sidewalks would connect with ongoing projects at the Herndon Parkway and Van Buren intersection and at the bus bay drop off and pick-up area, according to the application.
The new road will include a fore-lane divided road with eight-foot-wide sidewalks, a 10-foot trail and sidewalk lighting.
The town anticipates that the final engineering and construction of the project will be financed through private development.
The Town of Herndon’s Metrorail Herndon Station Area Plan identified the areas as a transit-oriented core where the project is deemed of critical importance, according to the town’s capital improvements plan.
The Worldgate Drive Extension is a keystone infrastructure improvement for the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core as included in the Metrorail Station Area Plan,’ the plan states.
The council approved a concept plan for the project in 2017.
Town leaders want more input from residents about whether it should ease restrictions for secondary living quarters that can be part of or detached from homes.
Current rules — in place since 1983 — have limited accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for those who are older than 62 or who have a disability. But following changes in other states and by other area governments, including Fairfax County, Herndon is looking to drop those requirements and make other adjustments.
“This is relaxing the current requirements, but it’s not making it easy,” zoning administrator David Stromberg said during an Oct. 26 meeting prior to a public hearing. “There still are … a lot of standards that have to be met.”
Town council delayed a decision until its Nov. 16 meeting.
In the works since April, the review of ADU rules came after some residents expressed frustrations about the process.
Proposed changes have also called for allowing up to three people live in an ADU (raising the current restriction from two people), reducing a detached ADU maximum space from 1,200 square feet to 900 square feet, and more.
The changes would also allow many kinds of construction to happen without a special approval process, but it would also ensure building inspectors and others go through properties to make sure they’re safe.
One resident commented during the Oct. 26 public hearing. Arthur Nachman, of Vine Street, said he was against the changes because it would allow non-family members to be in detached buildings, which he said shouldn’t happen in a residential neighborhood.
While some councilmembers shared concerns and wanted more time for residents to provide feedback, Councilmember Jasbinder Singh spent the most time expressing his doubts, saying he thought it would change the town’s character.
Based on the number of ADUs occurring in Arlington County from 2017 to 2021, Stromberg estimates that the rate in Herndon will be two or three per year if they’re “by right.” Singh said he disagreed and suggested more could happen.
The delayed vote will allow the town to get more input, though technically the public hearing has closed. People can still share their opinions during a regular public comment portion of the meeting.
“It will give us time to think more about all the issues and really what motion should be made if at all,” Singh said.
Neighboring governments have already loosened restrictions. Fairfax County revised its rules for accessory units, which it calls accessory living units, as part of a larger zoning overhaul this summer, dropping its requirement that the units be restricted to older adults and people with disabilities.
The Herndon Town Council is considering a plan to double down on banning guns on town property.
If approved, the ban would restrict the possession, use, and transportation of any firearms on specified town-owned property, including parks and community centers. It would also apply to any public street, sidewalk, right-of-way, or public place specifically being used for an official town-sponsored event.
Some residents fired off on a similar ban in Fairfax County, which was passed nearly one year ago. Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and other neighboring jurisdictions also have similar ordinances.
As drafted, all violations would be classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The ordinance does not apply to sworn or retired law enforcement officers, military personnel who are conducting official duties, historical re-enactors, private security hired by the town, and individuals who have a concealed handgun allowed through a valid concealed handgun permit.
Gov. Ralph Northam signed enabling legislation in April 2020 that allows local governments to ban guns on public property and public spaces. The move followed a gun rally in Richmond where thousands of gun owners gathered for a rally aimed to eliminate gun restrictions.
Town officials are wrestling with the best way to enforce the ban — if passed. Officials noted that the ban is only meaningful if it is enforceable in a consistent and effective manner.
An impact analysis by the town anticipates nearly $3 million in costs to amp up security in town buildings, install signs at town parks and trails and install magnetometers. An additional $744,600 is anticipated to staff magnetometers.
“If the goal of the firearms prohibition is to protect council, staff and the public from a firearms discharge on town property, then steps would be required to ensure security,” the impact analysis notes.
A public meeting is planned for today. The public hearing begins at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Council Chambers, which are located at 765 Lynn Street. Masks are required for all attendees and entrance to the council’s chambers will be controlled in order to ensure social distancing, according to town officials.
The Town of Herndon has taken its initial steps toward utilizing federal funding earmarked to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Herndon Town Council approved the allocation of the town’s funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) during a public session on Tuesday (Aug. 10). However, the budgeting of the funds will take place in the future as the town reviews capital projects and other operations and maintenance needs.
“This is the initial [move] just to kind of get the town started,” Herndon Director of Finance Robert Tang said. “We can do future budget amendments and re-appropriations as needed.”
Passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden in March, ARPA allocated $350 billion to assist state, local, territorial and tribal governments affected by the pandemic, establishing the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Virginia’s windfall included over $633 million to provide a “substantial infusion to local governments” that are in turn meant to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address economic fallout, and lay a foundation for a strong and equitable recovery, according to Tang.
Herndon received a first installment of $12.7 million, and a second installment of roughly the same amount is expected in summer 2022, giving the town a total of $25.5 million in relief funding.
The funds can be used to address public health expenditures, negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, lost public sector revenue, premium pay for essential workers, and water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure investments.
Tang detailed plans for the funding to support operations, maintenance, and capital projects from fiscal years 2020 and 2021 in order to recover and prepare for another potential economic downturn.
The focus points include addressing the pandemic’s negative economic impacts, supporting safe operations and working conditions for staff, replacing lost public sector revenue, and funding water and sewer projects.
However, Tang told the town council that there are a variety of challenges to meet, including vague and shifting guidance from the US Treasury and the need to follow proper procurement, documentation, reporting, and monitoring requirements.
The ARPA funds are subject to audits to ensure they are utilized for their intended purpose. Funds that are deemed to be improperly utilized would have to be paid back.
Mayor Sheila Olem said that once a spending plan is created for the town, the council will have further public hearings before approving the final allocation of these funds.
The ARPA funds must be allocated by Dec. 31, 2024, and expended by Dec. 31, 2026.
Photo via Google Maps