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Board Approves $2.7 Million for Neighborhood Projects

by Katie Pyzyk — October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm 3,365 23 Comments

During its meeting yesterday (Tuesday), the Arlington County Board unanimously approved $2.7 million of funding for neighborhood conservation projects.

Through the county’s Neighborhood Conservation Program, the money will go toward four new projects and five ongoing projects. The program allows residents, through their neighborhood associations, to suggest improvements and work with the county to get the projects funded.

“Our Neighborhood Conservation program is true civic engagement – neighborhood improvements planned from the ground up,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Its success lies in the fact that it puts residents in charge of prioritizing which improvements their neighborhoods most need.”

The Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) meets monthly and makes project recommendations to the County Board twice a year. Of the 25 new projects examined, the NCAC chose the following four at its June meeting:

  • Penrose, Butler Holmes Park — $522,400 for Phase II of park improvements
  • Clarendon Courthouse, Rocky Run Park — $750,000 for Phase II of park improvements
  • Madison Manor, N. Quintana Street — $126,018 for streetlights from 11th Road N. to N. Potomac Street
  • Arlington Ridge, 21st Street S. — $572,474 for street improvements including sidewalk, curb and gutter from S. Kent Street to S. Joyce Street

Those projects, with a cost of nearly $2 million, will be funded from the proposed $11 million 2012 bond that will be on the ballot in November. Funding for the five existing projects will run nearly $750,000, and primarily comes from the previously approved 2010 Community Conservation Bond. If approved by voters, the bonds are scheduled to be sold before the end of fiscal year 2013.

Additional funding for the existing projects was requested due to increases in costs; the sprayground plan now includes a water recirculation system, and the cost of materials and installation of streetlights increased. Those projects, along with their original costs and additional funding requests, are as follows:

  • Waycroft Woodlawn, N. Abingdon Street — Original estimate of $138,366 for streetlights, requires additional $170,506
  • North Arlington/East Falls Church, 26th & 27th — Original estimate of $73,289 for streetlights, requires additional $100,565
  • Madison Manor, 11th Road N. — Original estimate of $68,804 for streetlights, requires additional $103,309
  • Columbia Heights, N. Barton Street — Original estimate of $356,525 for streetlights, requires additional $161,146
  • Virginia Highlands Sprayground — Original estimate of $550,000, requires additional $212,000

It was noted in the county staff report that the cost for the lighting projects rose largely because they were held until the countywide conversion to LED lighting, which is currently underway. During the holding period, the price for materials and installation increased.

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  • Quoth the Raven

    What do I know, but “the price for materials and installation” of streetlights went up 100,000 dollars???? That makes no sense.

    • jan

      It is long past time for an Inspector General

  • BluemontRes

    Looks like there’s no room there for the $15,000 bocce courts. Where will the children play bocce?

    • confused

      In sicily?

  • math doesn’t work

    Does anyone else find it odd that all of the original estimates have now doubled? What kind of calculators are they using? If it were a real company budget, the CFO would be fired!

    • drax

      Um, looks like the projects themselves were amended, not just the price estimates. For instance, they added a water recirculation system to the sprayground.

      You’d be fired for jumping to conclusions.

      • darsasx

        Amendments only for 1 of the 5 projects – still a failure for the “CFO” and ‘math doesn’t work’ not only retains his job but gets promoted.

    • Tre

      Inflation went up 100% yesterday

      • drax

        Lets be the typical Internet and make wild assumptions about things we know very little about!

    • YTK

      Can’t wait to see how much the trolley will now cost.

      • Deadite

        Eleventy billion dollars.

        • JamesE

          Mr. Reeves that’s not even a number.

  • ArlingtonWay

    I live in Madison Manor, and I can say that the streetlight thing is a total waste of money. And the fact that they underestimated the cost by $100 grand is pretty typical as well. A few years ago they spend about $150K redesigning an intersection (11th Road and Rochester) to keep people from running the stop sign there. It has made no difference at all in the safety issue and the street lights they put in when they did the redesign are out of order half the time. But hey, it’s Arlington, so it’s basicaly against the law not to spend money.

    • KARLington

      Totally agree from our neighborhood experience…the whole thing felt like “where could we spend more money?” when all we needed was curbs where there were none so our broken-up street could be repaved.

    • drax

      The neighbors of Madison Manor went through a long process of writing their neighborhood conservation plan and requested the streetlights. Go tell them.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Requesting streetlights is one thing, but lights suddenly costing 100K more is another.

        • jan

          right!

    • darsasx

      It DID have an impact on safety – now the intersection is less safe than it was, because now you have to turn at a 100% blind spot in order to make the turn properly. At least before you had another 50-75 feet to spare, which can make a difference.

  • Joey

    The Acorn does not fall far from the tree. There’s your discussion.

  • WeiQiang

    Seriously? My sprayground went up by >40% ?? I know that I *asked* for vodka fountains, but never knew that they were approved. Thank goodness I can stumble home.

    • DCBuff

      hee-hee. Spray parks for adults. Perfect with bocce. You’ve got my vote.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    And since the bonds are rolled in with other things you want – folks will just aprove them.

  • ArlingtonWay

    Uh, thanks. That’s probably because (as the article says) that’s how the NCP works. But I’m pretty sure the people who requested an intersection redesign were under the impression that the $150,000 the County was spending on it was actually going to fix the problem they were concerned about. Hey, they may have even had an expectation (silly neighbors!) that the street lights would work half the time. But you tell me. You seem to have all the answers, commenting on almost all the comments on almost all the Arlnow threads. I mean, I just live in the neighborhood I commented about.

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