Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last week I had the distinct pleasure to be a part of a CNN article about politics in America. I was not interviewed as a Supervisor but rather as a citizen and a business man. The article reflected on Ashburn and our role in the November election. Our country, state, county and the community of Ashburn are still divided in many ways, but one message became very clear and was shared by CNN.
A unified voice rises from a divided place: Mr. President, please fix America
By Moni Basu, CNN January 22, 2013
Let’s work together in 2013 to bridge the divide and create change and prosperity for all of Loudoun County.
The Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved the Finance/Government Services and Operations Committee’s (FGSOC) recommendation to prepare the FY2014 Proposed Budget, inclusive of all needs, using the equalized rate and to study the possibility of implementing EMS transport billing.
The calendar has been set for budget work sessions throughout the months of February and March. Please visit Loudoun County Government Master Calendar for all sessions. However, a couple of key dates including Public Hearings are as follows:
06 February 4:00-4:30 p.m. Budget Presentation
27 February 3:00-5:00 p.m. BOS Budget Public Hearing
6:00-10:00 p.m. Budget Public Hearing
28 February 6:00-10:00 p.m. BOS Budget Public Hearing
02 March 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m. BOS Budget Public Hearing Limited to 90 speakers
(Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building)
03 April 4:00-4:30 p.m. Budget Adoption
All meetings will be held in the Board Room unless otherwise noted.
During the 16 January BOS General Business Meeting Sheriff Chapman provided an update on school safety following the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut tragedy. Sheriff Chapman noted that all the deputies and school resource officers have completed training for this type of incident. Additionally, other agencies such as Fire & Rescue and Loudoun’s mental health community are working together and staying active and engaged with the school community. Sheriff Chapman also noted that he has been appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on School and Campus Safety.
Ashburn Village Boulevard/Route 7 Interchange Design
Working with BF Saul and One Loudoun, Supervisor Williams and I were able to resolve the last remaining hurdle to this interchange with respect to the design. Funds have been allocated for the county’s participation in design revisions for this interchange. The 60% redesign will be completed in 90 days from issuance of notice to proceed. If the cost of the alternative design is less than the current design, One Loudoun will proceed to final design and right of way can be acquired. Construction could begin in 2013. Thank you to our hard working county employees who helped make this happen.
Belmont Ridge Road/Route 7 Interchange
The Interchange Justification Report has been approved. Utility plans are being prepared by Dewberry and are undergoing quality review. A meeting with the utility companies to discuss relocation and right of way needs is planned for February. Right of way plans should then be prepared by late April. County and VDOT staffs plan to meet soon to discuss the right of way acquisition process. Dewberry will be seeking location design approval through the VDOT Chief Engineer.
Increase in Greenway Tolls
As reported in my December newsletter, the owners of the Greenway filed an application with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to raise tolls. Even though we spoke out against it, the SCC approved the requested toll hike, increasing tolls by 10 cents. The new rates will increase from $4 to $4.10 with weekday peak rates from $4.80 to $4.90. However, there is legislation pending in the General Assembly for The Commonwealth of Virginia to purchase the privately held Greenway. If the Commonwealth is successful, a reduction in tolls and distance based pricing should occur.
Waxpool Road/Faulkner Parkway to Unbridled
-Including new traffic signal at Ashburn Village Boulevard& Waxpool Road
The county is finalizing land acquisition and aiming for “bid for construction” to occur in March. Contract award and approval by the BOS will take two to three months, and then construction will commence in late spring to early summer. The much needed traffic signal at Ashburn Village Boulevard and Waxpool Road will be constructed as part of this project. My office is monitoring this project very closely as it is critically important to make this improvement as soon as possible.
OTHER BOARD NEWS
During the 2 January BOS Business Meeting Supervisor Williams was elected Vice-Chairman. In addition, committee assignments and calendar changes were approved as follows:
Finance/Government Services & Operations Committee
Meetings: Will meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room.
Ralph Buona - Chairman
Transportation and Land Use Committee
Meetings: Will meet the second Friday of the month at 9:00 a.m. in the Board Room. However, there will be 3 occasions when the Committee meets on the third Friday of the month - February, March and November.
Suzanne Volpe - Chairman
Economic Development Committee
Meetings: Will meet on the third Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room However, the Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet for the first time in 2013 on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Please double check the Loudoun County Government Master Calendar for confirmation.
Matt Letourneau - Chairman
Joint Board/School Board Committee
Meetings: Will meet quarterly (first Thursday of March, June, September, December), first 2013 meeting will be on 7 March, 4:00p.m.at the County Building in the Board Room.
Ralph Buona – Co-chairman
Loudoun County School Board Members
Jeff Morse – Co-chairman
The primary focus of this committee will be on fiscal matters, the joint land acquisition process, school safety, consolidation opportunities, and school infrastructure as community resources. As such, the BOS leadership asked me to chair this committee as I am also the chair of the FGSOC.
Government Reform Commission
The thirteen-member Loudoun County Government Reform Commission (LCGRC) was appointed by the Board in January of 2012. Since then it has considered a broad range of County government issues. Most of the issues initially identified have been addressed to completion and are readily available in their report. Two additional items are slated to be completed in early 2013 with at least two other items yet to be initiated.
The Board of Supervisors will hold their regular business meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, beginning at 4:00 p.m., with public input beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Board’s monthly public hearing will be on the second Wednesday of the month, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Therefore, the Board schedule for February is as follows:
06 February 4:00 p.m. BOS General Business Meeting
(with public input as early as 6:00)
13 February 6:00 p.m. BOS Public Hearing
20 February 4.00 p.m. BOS General Business Meeting
(with public input as early as 6:00)
VISION AND STRATEGIC GOALS
The Board adopted Vision and Strategic Goals statements during the 2 January 2013.
By honoring its rich heritage as well as embracing the robust opportunities of a new day, Loudoun County maintains the high quality of life it has achieved, shapes a future that represents the best of both worlds, and creates a place where its residents are proud to live, work, and play.
The strategies that have enabled Loudoun County to achieve this success include:
- accelerating economic development so that the tax burden to residents is lowered, job opportunities are increased, the commercial potential of the Dulles corridor is realized, and continued levels of business growth and affluence result;
- adopting fiscal responsibility as a core principle;
- developing an effective transportation network;
- maintaining high quality educational opportunities;
- preserving the best of Loudoun County’s unique historical significance and heritage while positioning the County to be in the forefront of progressive enterprise;
- supporting the geographical and cultural diversity of small towns and rural economies (agriculture, vineyards, horse farms) in the west with planned urban neighborhoods and suburban housing, retail, and commercial infrastructure in the east;
- achieving a balance of the old and the new; of residential and commercial; of traditional values (family, community, environmental stewardship) and dynamic growth;
- streamlining County government to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and promote a positive climate for constituent interactions.