Arlington County, like the rest of us, is realizing $250,000 does not get you as far as it used to.
With inflation, gone are the days that a construction contract of any significance could realistically come in under that sum, the threshold for a project that requires Arlington County Board approval. Gone too are the days that most professional services contracts, for things like engineering work, would cost under $80,000.
So, on Saturday, the Board adjusted for inflation — and then some — greenlighting a new threshold of $1 million for capital construction contracts and professional services. Contracts under this sum will no longer need Board review and approval.
“Establishing a higher threshold corrects for these cost increases and provides some
insulation against future inflationary pressures, which is prudent given the infrequent nature of these threshold adjustments,” a county report says.
The two thresholds were last set in 2000 and since then, the impacts of inflation in the D.C. area construction market “have been particularly acute,” the report says.
“While different construction market indices reflect varying degrees of inflation, they consistently support that $250,000 in the year 2000 more closely approximates $500,000 [to] $600,000 in 2023,” it said.
Although $1 million is a higher threshold even after adjusting for inflation, the county says it is reasonable.
“The proposed $1 million threshold would still be the lowest among major counties and cities in the Northern Virginia region and among the lowest in the D.C. metro area,” per the report.
In fact, of all the 70 road, sewer and park projects between 2015 and 2022 that received bids — dubbed invitation to bid or ITB projects — none were under $250,000, the county says.
The majority, 62%, were more than $1 million — the kind of capital construction projects that “also tend to be those with the most complexity and public interest and impact,” the report said.
The Gazette Leader newspaper, however, lamented this as a loss for those seeking a more transparent government.
“The proposal likely will add more fuel to the fire among critics of the government like the Arlington County Civic Federation, which has contended that the government is failing the public on the transparency front,” editor Scott McCaffrey wrote.
The county has a different take, saying projects under $1 million are largely “minor renovations and smaller maintenance projects.” That includes minor sidewalk or park improvements, such as those recently undertaken at Towers Park Playground, Oakland Park and Edison Park.
These projects can generate public interest but, the report says, the county has existing engagement processes to respond to such interest.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.
There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…
Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.