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Board Approves $2.7 Million for Neighborhood Projects

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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