On the Ballot: County Bonds for Libraries, Parks, Flooding
Money to prevent flooding in lower Huntington, money for libraries, fire stations and parks will be on the ballots for Fairfax County voters in November.
In addition to choosing a president, Fairfax County voters will be deciding on millions in funding for libraries, parks, public safety and stormwater through bond referenda.
The four bond issues are:
None of the bonds are expected to raise tax rates for residents.
If approved by voters, the $30 million stormwater bond will pay to build a levee and pumping station to protect the Huntington neighborhood from flooding.
During the past 10 years, three floods have damaged homes, vehicles and other property in this neighborhood, and there are 180 homes in the FEMA-designated floodplain that are at risk in the future.
At Fairfax County’s request, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied the best ways to protect Huntington from future floods. The study examined a number of options, including dredging Cameron Run, buying the flood-prone properties and flood proofing individual homes. It found that a levee and a pumping station are the most cost-effective way to protect Huntington.
Ten million dollars of the library money will be allocated for construction of a new Reston Regional Library. The remaining money will go towards renovations for Pohick Regional Library in Burke ($5 million); John Marshall Library in the Rose Hill/Alexandria area ($5 million); and Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library ($5 million).
These older libraries will be renovated to add more public computers; enhance wireless access; add quiet and group study spaces; and upgrade old building systems to improve their energy efficiency and operations.
The park bond, if approved by voters, will help pay for improvements to many county parks. Of the total, $63 million will go the Fairfax County Park Authority, and $12 million will pay for the county's share of costs to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
For county parks, money will be spent in four areas (to see more details, click here):
- Land acquisition and stewardship ($12.9 million)
- Community parks and new facilities ($7.2 million)
- Facility expansion ($19 milliion)
- Existing facility renovation ($23.3 milliion)
If approved by voters, the $55 million public safety bond will pay to rebuild three fire stations — Baileys Crossroads Volunteer Fire Station, Jefferson Fire Station and Herndon Fire Station — and renovate 22 courtrooms in the Fairfax County Courthouse.
Of the total, $35 million will go towards the fire stations, and $20 million will pay to renovate courtrooms.
Courthouse improvements include renovations to 22 courtrooms (nine General District Court and 13 for the Circuit Court). The renovations will improve security; fix walls, ceilings, ducts, and lighting; make required American with Disabilities Act upgrades; and upgrade technology for digital evidence presentation, video arraignments, and remote witness testimony.
Fairfax County hosted an online chat to answer bond questions on Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.
To read frequently asked questions about the bond referenda, click here.