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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.

Beth Gamble October 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Please, Please consider voting Yes for all these bonds. Fairfax County has a terrific credit rating and receives very low interest rates and with our current economic climate the county can actually get more done with fewer dollars. Debt payments in Fairfax are never higher than 10% of the county tax revenue. Fairfax is a tremendous place to live primarily because of these amenities!!
Steven Larsen October 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM
It’s been 9 years since Isabelle. We came within inches of topping our current 1980s levee system in September of 2011. We need the National Park Service’s approval (since we abut the GWMP) and all the stakeholders within our community to agree on a design option that will get us the needed ACE funding. With passage of this bond referendum the Huntington flooding issue appears solved. Our elected County & State representatives and Jim Moran (or his successor) now need to turn their attention to our vibrant neighborhood.
T Ailshire October 10, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Why is anyone worried? Has Fairfax County ever had a bond issue people didn't love? Throw in the word "school" or "library" or "park" and watch people jump to vote yes.
T Ailshire October 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Do you really think a FEDERAL representative should be involved in *neighborhood* issues?
Pete Kirby October 10, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I don't know the answer to your question, but in tough budget times at home and in local government, people may be inclined to say no. I agree with Beth; the county doesn't go out and spend all this money at once, and the funds will take care of some very much needed projects. I can tell you that the fire stations need to be rebuilt, that the flood control is desperately needed, and that the quality of our park system is a major reason we enjoy a great life in Fairfax County. The land acquisition matter is important because as the property values in the county rise (and they will - they always will), it's savings in the bank to fund this now. Just my opinion, but that's how I see it
Nick Gottshall November 05, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Why don't we use our heads for something besides a hat rack. Years ago they had a problem in Arlandria, after wasting millions of dollars they enlarged the drain pipes at National Airport, guess what no more problem. Stop playing stupid enlarge the pipe size at the George Washington Pkwy. and the problem is fixed. Better yet waste a few more million more doing a study and then enlarge the drain.
Lisa November 06, 2012 at 02:51 AM
would be nice if they would consider a stormwater bond for places flooded by runoff from Fairfax County Parkway too....
Damon November 06, 2012 at 08:54 PM
@T Ailshire. It's not a matter of wanting federal involvement. You need them to be in this case because your dealing with a federal agency. Otherwise you get nothing
Damon November 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
So when are we going to take down the "future home of kingstowne library" sign since it hasn't been listed in the bond for the 9 years I've lived here. I'm sure we're paying money for the sign through some crooked sign leasing deal from the past :)
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