Bond Referenda Total Almost $250 Million — “Arlington voters in November will be asked to pass judgment on four bond referenda totaling just under a quarter-billion dollars, under a proposal slated for County Board approval on July 14… The bond package now on the table includes $103 million for schools; $75.57 million for transportation; $37.015 million for community infrastructure; and $29.33 million for parks and recreation.” [InsideNova]
Virginia Ranks High As Pro-Business State — CNBC has listed Virginia as the No. 4 top state for business in the U.S. Texas was ranked No. 1. Virginia was ranked seventh by CNBC in 2017. [Virginia.gov]
Conspiracy Theorists Denounce Conspiracy Theory — Yesterday, lobbyist and conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman held a press conference at a Rosslyn hotel to reveal a mystery witness who supposedly heard government agents bragging about their role in the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. The press conference did not go as planned and has since been denounced by many who believe Rich’s murder is a political conspiracy — just not the conspiracy outlined by the “witness.” [Daily Beast, Twitter, Gateway Pundit]
Arlington Rocks the Red — It was lit in Arlington during last night’s Stanley Cup Finals — literally. In Rosslyn, a swath of red and the words “ALL CAPS” was projected onto a prominent office building. In Ballston, the lights atop another office building were switched to red. [Twitter, Twitter]
Young Caps Fan Provides All the Luck — Parker Matthews, a 7-year-old Arlington resident, kept finding four leaf clovers on the ground during the Washington Capitals’ playoff and championship run. She would display the lucky keepsakes in front of the TV during games. [NBC Washington]
Celebrations Around Arlington — The scene last night after the Caps won the Stanley Cup in Game 5 was one of jubilation throughout Arlington. In some parts of the county, homemade fireworks were going off. In Clarendon, fans cheered in the streets while a fire truck used its horn to lead the crowd in a chant of “let’s go Caps.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Where to Buy Caps Stanley Cup Gear — The team store at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston could have Stanley Cup championship merchandise as soon as Saturday, though the exact timing is unclear. [Twitter]
In Less Exciting News — “Rising interest rates already are impacting the amount Arlington County taxpayers will have to shell out for bond-approved capital projects in coming years. But county-government officials hailed the recent 2.99-percent interest rate received on sale of $153 million in municipal debt as a testament to the government’s rock-solid credit rating.” [InsideNova, Arlington County]
Nauck Town Square Project Progressing — “There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Nauck Town Square project, which aims to turn a barren (though iconic) strip of land into a true community gathering place… If all goes as planned, a construction contract will be inked in 2018, with completion a year later.” [InsideNova]
History: Arlington’s Three Sisters — Arlington County was home to the second-tallest human-made structure in the world after the Eiffel Tower: one of the “Three Sisters” U.S. Navy radio towers that once stood along Columbia Pike. [Arlington Magazine]
Mall Raising Money for Breast Cancer Research — This month the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be raising money for breast cancer research by offering discount cards to shoppers who make a $5 donation to the Susan G. Komen organization. The mall will also be holding meet and greets with the Susan G. Komen D.C. chapter and on Oct. 21 will be offering free pink cookies and pink lemonade. [Simon]
Arlington Issues New Bonds — Arlington County successfully sold $58 million in new bonds this week at an average 3.24 percent interest rate. “This sale allows the County to finance two important land acquisitions, while also saving the County $3.8 million of future debt service by refinancing existing bonds at lower rates,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy James Mahony
Arlington Kicking Off Budget Process Early — Normally it is a conversation that starts later in the year, but for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 budget process Arlington County is holding “an earlier-than-ever-before series of roundtable discussions on budget priorities and challenges.” The first is scheduled to take place at Westover Library on Friday, Sept. 29. [Arlington County]
More Renovations for Crystal House — The second phase of an extensive renovation process at the massive, historic Crystal House apartment complex in Crystal City is complete: “Some of the amenities include two rooftop ‘sky decks’ with billiard tables, rooftop grilling and dining areas, and a fitness center with a yoga studio. There is also an Olympic-sized swimming pool, new lobbies with Wi-Fi, a clubroom, and a conference room.” [Curbed]
Arlington’s Little League Coach of the Year — Arlington Little League coach Larry Patent beat out 276 other coaches in the league to win the honor of Coach of the Year. “What makes Larry Patent special,” writes a reporter for TV station WUSA 9, “is that he coaches a team made up of players with mental and physical disabilities.” [WUSA 9]
County to Issue New Bonds — Arlington County is expected to sell tens of millions of dollars worth of revenue bonds next month. The bonds will fund the acquisition of the Buck property across from Washington-Lee High School, the “acquisition, design and construction of an office building at 2920 S. Glebe Road,” and “upgrades to the County’s Assessment and Collection system and Enterprise Payments System.” The bonds will also refinance older bonds and save up to $3.8 million. [Arlington County]
Jimmy Carter Can’t Help Local Office Market — Despite the protestations of a local civic activist, Arlington County officials say they cannot successfully sue the federal government over a 1970s-era executive order from President Jimmy Carter that gave D.C. and Arlington “priority in the location of federal agencies in the Washington area.” Federal offices have been moving out of Arlington for cheaper office space farther away from the District. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Joe Cashwell
FBI Seeking Man Who Touched Girl at Cemetery — The FBI’s Washington Field Office is searching for a man who “inappropriately touched a girl as the two stood in a crowd during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.” [NBC Washington]
Task Force Recommends ‘Fleet Elementary’ — The task force charged with recommending a name for the new elementary school being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School has settled its choice: “Alice West Fleet Elementary.” Fleet was the first African-American reading teacher in Arlington’s public school system. The task force did not recommend transferring the name of Patrick Henry, a slave owner, from the current school, which will be transferring its students to new new school when it is complete. [InsideNova]
Bicyclist Group Calls Out Biking Bullies — In a blog post, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is calling out aggressive male riders who yelled insults at a female bike commuter on two separate occasions on the Mt. Vernon Trail. “This sort of behavior is totally unacceptable,” the group said. [WABA]
Mt. Vernon Trail Upgrade Complete — The National Park Service has completed an upgrade to a portion of the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs through the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot. The upgrade includes a new crossing and speed table across the parking lot and the widening of the trail. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Sells Bonds at Low Interest Rate — Arlington County solds $185 million in bonds at a relatively low 2.5 percent interest rate. “The interest rate we received today is one of the lowest we’ve ever received,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. “However, it is slightly higher than the rate we received last year.” [Arlington County]
Tight Race in Va. Gov. Primary — The two candidates battling it out in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary are in the midst of a tight race. The race between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello is being portrayed as a contest between an establishment figure (Northam) and a progressive darling (Perriello). Primary voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 13. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Arlington Falls in Parks Ranking — Arlington and D.C. both fell in the annual ParkScore rankings of cities by The Trust for Public Land. Arlington was ranked sixth in the nation this year and D.C. ranked fourth, while last year they were ranked fourth and third respectively. [The Trust for Public Land, Washington Post]
Neighborhood Conservation Projects Approved — The Arlington County Board last night unanimously approved $5.5 million in neighborhood improvement projects, including “street improvements, streetlights, intersection improvements and a neighborhood sign.” [Arlington County]
How to Live in Arlington on $50,000 — A young woman who works as a case manager outlined her expenditures while living in Arlington on a $50,000 salary, as part of a “Money Diaries” feature. Eschewing the urban millennial stereotype of profligate spending, she manages to save $1,000 a month — although that is helped by her parents continuing to pay her cell phone bill. [Refinery 29]
County to Sell Millions in Bonds — The County Board has approved issuing up to $185 million in general obligation bonds to help fund various capital priorities, including: Metro, Neighborhood Conservation, paving, parks land acquisition, maintenance capital, Lubber Run Community Center planning, Nauck Village Center action plan and transportation. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Lubber Run Community Center Redevelopment — With voter approval of a “community infrastructure” bond that funds it, work is set to proceed on the redevelopment of the Lubber Run Community Center. Design work on the new four-story, $47 million facility will wrap up next year. Construction is expected to take place in 2018. [InsideNova]
Arlington to Keep One of the Last Kenneth Cole Stores — Kenneth Cole is closing 63 stores in the U.S. to concentrate on online and international operations. One of the fashion house’s two U.S. locations to remain open indefinitely: the store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Bloomberg]
TransitScreen Expands to Coworking Spaces — TransitScreen, which was founded in Arlington in 2013, is expanding its presence from apartment buildings to coworking offices. The creator of screens that show the schedules of various transit options — including buses, trains and Uber vehicles — has announced that it has struck a deal with another Arlington-founded company: MakeOffices. [Bisnow]
AED to Host ‘Arlington Premiere’ — Arlington Economic Development is continuing its outreach to startup businesses. Next month AED will be hosting an event called “Arlington Premiere,” which is billed as “an exclusive reception welcoming new businesses to Arlington County.” The event will take place in Crystal City and will include networking opportunities for business owners. [Arlington Economic Development]
Cat Stuck in Tree — The Arlington County Fire Department was called last night for a cat that was stuck in a tree. Yes, that does actually happen. [Twitter]
“Unofficial turnout was a record high of 121,807 but because of population increases, that represents just 82 percent of our 148,154 registered voters, falling a little short of the 85 percent turnout record set in 1992,” said Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg.
That mirrors the 2012 election, in which numerical turnout set a record in Arlington but percentage-wise the turnout was just short of the record.
Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey won re-election last night. Her swearing-in ceremony has not yet been scheduled but “will likely take place next month,” a county press release (below) noted.
Garvey applauded Arlington voters for approving all four bond issues on the ballot.
“On behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington,” she said in a statement. “We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”
For additional election results, see our updated election coverage.
Arlington voters on Tuesday re-elected Libby Garvey to the County Board as she concludes her year as Board Chair. Garvey won 70.11 percent of ballots cast with 72,542 votes in the Nov. 8 election according to 100 percent of results posted this morning by the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Garvey was first elected to the Board in March 2012 in a special election to complete the term of now-state Senator Barbara Favola. Garvey won a full four-year term that fall and now has been re-elected to serve through 2020. Her current year-long role as Board Chair concludes next month with the job traditionally taken up by another member in the new year.
“Thank you Arlington voters for once again taking to the polls in such large numbers and for continuing to place your trust in me,” Garvey said. “Most importantly, on behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington. We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”
All bond referenda approved
Voters approved all four bond referenda on the ballot, representing $315,775,000 in investment to fund transportation, infrastructure, parks and Arlington Public Schools projects.
The bond referenda were:
Metro and Transportation: $58.79 million (passed with 78 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Arlington’s share of Metro’s capital program, street paving, bridge renovations, bike and walking safety enhancements, streetlight maintenance and conversions, transportation system and signal upgrades and neighborhood curb and gutter improvements.
Local Parks and Recreation: $19.31 million (passed with 76 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Park maintenance, land acquisition and open space, trail modernization, improvement work for Jennie Dean Park and Tyrol Hills Park.
Community Infrastructure: $98.85 million (passed with 75 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Replacement of old Lubber Run Community Center building, underground parking to expand Lubber Run green space, ADA upgrades for Lubber Run courts and playground areas, parking deck for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, increased neighborhood conservation support, facilities maintenance, Courthouse Complex renovations and infrastructure, Nauck Town Square and infrastructure, Barcroft gymnastics expansion, expanded childcare for County employees, critical systems infrastructure and replacement of Fire Station 8 facility.
Arlington Public Schools: $138.83 million (passed with 79 percent of the vote)
Projects include: an addition at the Stratford building to add 339 seats, the new school at the Wilson site to add an estimated 775 seats, renovation of the Career Center/Arlington Tech to add 300 seats, planning and design to build an additional 1300 secondary seats at locations to be determined, and HVAC, roofing and other infrastructure improvement projects at existing APS buildings.
When Arlington residents head to the ballot box on Nov. 8, they won’t just choose candidates for office. They’ll also be able to vote on four local bond issues and two state constitutional amendments.
Taxpayers will be asked to approve nearly $315.8 million in general bond obligations. Additionally, they’ll be able to vote for or against adding “right-to-work” and property tax exemption amendments to the Virginia constitution.
Members of the voting public can only vote “yes” or “no” to each of the four bond questions on the ballot. Each question rolls multiple projects into larger categories.
In the $138,830,000 Arlington Public Schools bond:
- $26.03 million to build an addition at the Stratford building to add 339 middle school seats;
- $78.4 million for construction of the new facility for H-B Woodlawn at the Wilson site, adding an estimated 775 seats;
- $12 million to renovate the Career Center/Arlington Tech to add 300 seats;
- $10 million for planning and design to build an additional 1,300 secondary seats at to-be-determined locations;
- $12.4 million for HVAC, roofing, and other infrastructure improvement projects at existing APS buildings.
In the $98,850,000 Community Infrastructure bond:
- $46.46 million to replace the Lubber Run Community Center with a new building that would have underground parking, a new gym and ADA-compliant courts and playground areas;
- $12 million for a new parking deck at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School;
- $12 million for neighborhood conservation and street improvements, residential traffic management, park enhancement, street lighting, beautification and landscaping projects;
- $9.6 million for facilities maintenance on items like roofs, mechanical and electrical systems, and replacement and renewal of interior and exterior finishes. The money would also be used to keep those facilities up to code and within good working order;
- $6.25 million to invest in county-owned buildings at Courthouse Plaza and fund new security and accessibility standards in those buildings;
- $5.35 million for a new 31,000 square foot urban plaza in Nauck that would feature public art, the history of the neighborhood and other ornamental elements;
- $3.24 million to convert and expand the existing Barcroft gym into a gymnastics program to meet increased demand;
- $1.5 million for a new county childcare facility;
- $1.33 million to centralize monitoring and maintenance of building systems;
- $1.12 million for the design of the forthcoming Fire Station 8.
In the $58,785,000 Metro and Transportation bond:
- $30 million would be set aside to fund Arlington’s share of WMATA’s capital program in the 2017 and 2018 financial years;
- Roughly $23.89 million would be used to pave more than 974 county-managed miles of roads;
- $4.9 million would be divvied up among a variety of projects including bridge renovations, BikeArlington, WalkArlington, traffic signals, new curbs and gutters, streetlights, safety improvements and other street upgrades.
In the $19,310,000 Local Parks and Recreation bond:
- $11.89 million for park maintenance and renovations;
- $3 million to fund land acquisitions for parks and open spaces;
- $1.8 million to create a park master plan for Jennie Dean Park in Shirlington, which would include a redevelopment of the park “as a key recreational, cultural and environmental resource.”
- $1.37 million to fund the final phase of the Tyrol Hills Park master plan, including the construction of a comfort station, picnic shelter, paved plaza, site furnishings and landscaping;
- $1.25 million to replace and renovate 31.5 miles of county-owned trails over ten years.
Voters will also be able to choose whether to add two amendments to the Virginia constitution:
- An amendment to add Virginia’s “right to work” statute to the state constitution;
- An amendment adding a local option for property tax exemptions for surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.
Under the “right to work” amendment, employers would be banned from requiring union membership. Though Virginia already has a “right to work” statute, ratifying it as a constitutional amendment would make it harder for future lawmakers to repeal the rule.
The issue has sparked a debate between unions and legislators, according to The Washington Post. Supporters, like Rep. Richard P. Bell (R-Staunton) say an amendment is necessary to protect and preserve the state’s longstanding statute. Unions, however, say the amendment would be yet another blow to organized labor in the state.
Other critics of the amendment say it’s just not necessary, as Virginia has been a “right to work” state for more than 70 years without a constitutional amendment. One Democratic state senator even called the ballot question a “political stunt,” according to WAMU.
The other proposed amendment would, if passed and then acted upon by the Virginia General Assembly, allow localities to exempt from property taxes the spouses of first responders — law enforcement officers, firefighters, rescuers and medics — killed in the line of duty, provided they haven’t remarried.
Spouses of military veterans killed in the line of duty already can be exempted from local property taxes under a previous constitutional amendment.
As part of its latest Capital Improvement Plan, the Arlington County Board last night approved a new slate of bond referenda that will appear on the ballot this fall.
The county has proposed four bonds for voters to consider. In total the bonds add up to some $315.8 million.
- Metro and Transportation — $58,785,000
- Local Parks and Recreation — $19,310,000
- Community Infrastructure — $98,850,000
- Arlington Public Schools — $138,830,000
In a board report, county staff detailed the planned use of funds for each bond.
Metro and Transportation:
This proposal will fund a variety of transportation, road, pedestrian enhancement and transit projects across the County. The largest components of this proposal are $30 million for Arlington County’s share of WMATA / Metro’s capital improvement program, and $24 million to fund a portion of the costs for paving local streets and roadways. Proceeds of this proposal will also fund bridge renovation, street lights, transportation systems & traffic signals, as well as the WALKArlington, BikeArlington, Safe Routes to Schools, and Curb & Gutter Missing Links programs. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.
Local Parks and Recreation:
This proposal will fund various parks improvements and enhancements, as well as $3 million for the Land Acquisition and Open Space Program for strategic park acquisitions. This proposal would also fund the Trail Modernization program, design and planning at Jennie Dean Park and construction at Tyrol Hills Park, and maintenance capital improvements such as playground, courts and other parks infrastructure improvements. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.
This proposal will fund a variety of County infrastructure projects. The largest component of this proposal is $46.46 million for the Lubber Run Community Center project. Also included is $12 million of funding for Neighborhood Conservation projects, as well as funding for the Nauck Town Square, planning & design of the Fire Station 8 replacement, renovations & improvements to government facilities in the Court House Complex, renovation of the Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center for additional gymnastics, and a County childcare facility. The Neighborhood Conservation Program provides funding for a variety of neighborhood-identified capital improvement projects including street improvements (sidewalk, curb and gutter, drainage, paving), traffic management and pedestrian enhancements, park improvements, street lighting, recreational facilities, landscaping, and beautification.
It also includes funding of a joint County & Schools parking deck and other improvements at the Thomas Jefferson middle school site due to the construction of a new elementary school, critical systems infrastructure upgrades to 24×7 hour facilities; and facilities maintenance capital improvements, including design and construction of projects including but not limited to roofs, electrical and heating / cooling systems and other facilities infrastructure. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.
Arlington Public Schools:
This proposal will make funds available for the Arlington Public Schools’ capital improvement program. The proposed bonds will fund the following projects:
- The new middle school at the Stratford site ($26,030,000)
- The new school at the Wilson site ($78,400,000)
- Addition and renovation at the Career Center/Arlington Tech ($12,000,000)
- Planning for secondary seats at location(s) to be determined ($10,000,000), and
- Infrastructure capital projects such as HVAC, roofing, etc. ($12,400,000)
The School Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.
The Board also approved its $3.3 billion 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan Tuesday night. A county press release on the plan, after the jump.
The Arlington County Board today approved a $3.3 billion combined County and Schools 10-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for fiscal years 2017-2026.
The plan funds County capital projects and infrastructure of $2.8 billion and Arlington Public Schools’ (APS) adopted $510.29 million CIP, for a total of $3.3 billion in planned capital projects and infrastructure investment over the next decade for both County and Schools.
“This plan provides funding to address the challenges posed by the fact that our community is growing,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “We will make strategic investments in our schools, transportation, land acquisition and technology. That means APS will have the resources it needs to build new schools and expand existing ones. We will improve bus service across the County, and build a premium bus service connecting Columbia Pike and the Pentagon City-Crystal City corridor. At the same time, we will invest more in land acquisition, improve customer service by investing in technology and fund the replacement of the aging Lubber Run community Center.”
The Board voted 5-0 to adopt the CIP and to approve additional guidance to the County Manager.
Strategic investments over the next 10 years:
- Arlington Public Schools: Full support for APS’s $510.29 million plan to address growing enrollment, including full funding of its 2016 $138.83 million referenda request, which addresses capacity expansion.
- Metro and Transportation: $1.6 billion in extensive investments to ensure safety, accessibility and efficiency for commuters on bike, foot, car and transit over ten years. These include the County’s continued $30 million commitment to Metro over the next two years.
- The CIP lays out a plan to fund the recently adopted Transit Development Plan approach for new, modified and expanded bus service over the next decade, including premium bus service that will offer a one-seat ride from the west end of Columbia Pike to Potomac Yard. It also funds the Neighborhood Complete Streets Program and expands the streetlight management plan.
- Lubber Run Community Center: Planned funding includes $46.5 million in new bonds for design and construction in the 2016 and 2018 referenda for replacement of the County’s aging community center. After the referendum is considered by the voters, the County will undertake, before the end of 2016, a community engagement process on the arrangement of the facility and outdoor amenities on the site.
- Fire Station 8: $1.12 million is included in the 2016 referendum to support the design and planning efforts to replace Fire Station 8 at its current location on Lee Highway. Construction funding is anticipated to be included in the 2018 referenda request.
- Technology: Provides for a new online payment portal and replacement of the tax assessment and collection system.
- Neighborhood Conservation: Continues to fund this neighborhood-based program that improves neighborhoods, with $12 million per referenda.
- Land acquisition: Increases funding over last CIP to $3 million per referenda.
- Joint County School project: Funding of a parking structure and other improvements at the new elementary school at the Thomas Jefferson site.
- Longer term projects: Funds the acquisition of the Buck property (a six-acre site on North Quincy Street), and possibility of improvements needed at potential future acquisitions through the Virginia Hospital Center. Invests over the medium-to-long term to meet new public safety technology and regional interoperability requirements. Anticipates planning beginning in 2022 for a community facilities study for the Central Library/Quincy Park area to maximize existing land while preserving and maximizing open space.
Maintaining existing infrastructure -funding several areas of basic infrastructure:
- Parks and Facilities: Continues the County’s reinvestment in playgrounds, courts, fields and essential components of buildings such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and roofing systems. Jennie Dean Park design will begin when the Four Mile Run Valley Initiative is complete.
- Includes funding to expand the gymnastics program at the Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center, and funding for a new program, which provides $1 million every two years to modernize off-street trails.
- Existing funds for Long Bridge Park will be used to design and construct a reduced aquatics building program and complete the 10.5 acres of park development and esplanade. Additional funding is included in fiscal years 2023-2024 to plan and design a fourth synthetic field and parking structure at the park. Funding to build the field and garage will be considered as part of future CIPs.
- Paving: A $5 million increase in paving over the next two years, bringing the total to $24 million over two years.
- Water/sewer system infrastructure: Water delivery, sanitary sewer collection and wastewater treatment to provide high quality services and products and stormwater management investments to reduce potential stormwater impacts to public health, safety and property.
- Technology: Continued re-investment in technology to replace and support basic County functions such as PCs, servers, network capabilities etc., as well as critical public safety equipment including defibrillators, fire alerting system, mobile and portable radios, mobile data computers and fire vehicle refreshment.
The Capital Improvement Plan is within the financial and debt management policies adopted by the Board, which are important to ensuring maintenance of Arlington’s triple-AAA bond ratings.
A total of $315.775 million in bonds will be put before voters, in four separate questions. The referenda will be held during the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.The County Manager released the Proposed CIP in May 2016 after a public process that included three public forums and more than 430 online comments. Since then, staff provided briefings and answered questions for commissions and committees, and made presentations during five County Board work sessions.The Proposed CIP was posted on the CIP webpage, and the County Board held a public hearing on June 22. The staff report and County Board actions at the July 19 meeting can be found on the County website. Scroll down to Item #57 on the Agenda for the Tuesday, July 19 Recessed Meeting. To read the 2016 bond referenda resolutions and questions, scroll down to Item #58.
Arlington updates its Capital Improvement Plan — a planning document that outlines the County’s long range capital investment objectives — every two years. Proposed capital projects frequently include parks and recreation, government facilities, community conservation, technology, multi-modal transportation systems, Metro and transit, schools, utilities and other capital programs.The County’s Adopted CIP includes referenda amounts requested by the Arlington School Board to be voted on in November.
Arlington Woman Sues Restaurant — Laura Donahue, a 36-year-old Arlington resident, is suing the new D.C. restaurant Fig & Olive, saying she became ill with salmonella after eating there.The restaurant was shut down by the health department for several days after numerous reports of diners afflicted with salmonella. [Washington Post]
County Board Approves Street Projects — At its meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved $2.9 million in neighborhood street improvement projects. The projects, in Ashton Heights, Lyon Village, Arlington Ridge and Leeway, will be paid for with neighborhood conservation bond funds. [Arlington County]
Refinancing to Save County Millions — Arlington County expects to save $2.2 million over 14 years via a refinancing of wastewater and water system bonds that was approved unanimously by the County Board on Saturday. [Arlington County]
Water Main Rehab Contract Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a $2.4 million contract to rehabilitate some of the county’s aging water mains. Some of the mains set for a cleaning and a cement mortar lining are more than 60 years old. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Fire Station Relocation May Go to Voters — A controversial plan to relocate Fire Station 8 from Lee Highway and the Hall’s Hill neighborhood to a locale further north, in order to improve response times, could be put to voters. Opponents may push for a stand-alone bond issue for construction of the new fire station, which would put it on the ballot. The idea was floated during a well-attended community meeting on the fire station relocation plan last night. [InsideNova]
North vs. South Swimming Pool Divide? — Swimming has always been a significant part of life in Arlington, but current pool options are tilted toward north Arlington, says Our Man in Arlington columnist Charlie Clark. Building the stalled Long Bridge Park aquatics center could help alleviate the divide, Clark reasons. [Falls Church News-Press]
Arlington Family Kicked off Flight — An Arlington family was kicked off a JetBlue flight from Boston to Baltimore on Monday, reportedly because of a squirming two year old and FAA regulations. [WUSA 9]
DCA Screeners Find Two Guns in Two Days — Screeners at Reagan National Airport found two guns in carry-on baggage over the course of two days this week. The two men who had the guns in their bags are now facing weapons charges. [WJLA]
I-395 Exit to Close Temporarily — The exit from northbound I-395 to Washington Blvd will close overnight Sunday and Monday for paving and lane striping, VDOT says. [Patch]
Republicans Want Bond Changes — Arlington Republicans want big ticket items like the Long Bridge Park aquatics center separated out of county bond issues. For the past 20 years, Democrats on the County Board have typically bundled big items with smaller bond-funded projects under broad categories like “parks.” Republicans say items valued at more than $25 million should be put to voters separately as a matter of good governance. [InsideNova]
Portion of Wilson Blvd to Be Renamed, Temporarily — The portion of Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn Street and N. Moore Street in Rosslyn will be renamed “Marine Corps Marathon Drive” for the month of October. The County Board approved the measure this week. Runners will pass the renamed road at the beginning of the Oct. 25 marathon and then will return to it for the race’s finish festival. The Marine Corps Marathon is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Reminder: Issue With Galleries on iOS — ARLnow.com is still working to solve an issue that’s preventing our image galleries from loading images on iOS device like the Apple iPhone and iPad. The technical issue follows our implementation of security measures that will make your browsing experience on our site more secure by serving pages exclusively via HTTPS.
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
AWLA Cats Star in Movie Trailers — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is releasing a mock movie trailer each week this month starring their very own cats. The adoptable felines will then be given the star treatment at the shelter. “Guests who visit AWLA each Friday in June will be invited to walk the ‘Paw of Fame,’ enjoy some popcorn and take a photo with one of the starring ‘caters’ or ‘catresses’ or to take one home for free,” The first trailer is set to a “Jurassic World” theme. [Facebook]
Arlington Sells $77 Million in Bonds — Arlington County issued $77 million worth of bonds Tuesday, at an average interest rate of 2.8 percent. “Our Triple-AAA rating has helped ensure the lowest interest rates possible, ensuring taxpayer dollars for bond funded projects are used as effectively as possible,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. [Arlington County]
Sierra Club Endorses Fallon — Peter Fallon has picked up a key environmental endorsement ahead of the June 9 Democratic County Board primary. The Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Fallon, saying he has “a long history of community activism,” is “well versed in the environmental issues facing the County” and is “a strong supporter of [Arlington’s] Community Energy Plan.” Though there are two open County Board seats, the group said it “opted to only endorse one candidate.”
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Tejada Rips Streetcar Decision — Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada made a forceful seven-and-a-half minute speech at Saturday’s Board meeting, ripping into the decision to cancel the county’s streetcar project. Tejada said the county government “has failed” and wasted the time of those involved in the streetcar’s 15-year planning process. Tejada was joined by two members of the public who spoke out against the decision. [Blue Virginia, Washington Post]
Wilson School Supporters Speak Out — Supporters of the Wilson School in Rosslyn are making what might be a last push to save the 104-year-old building — which they claim is historic — from potential demolition. Stan Karson, president of the nearby Radnor/Fort Myer Heights Civic Association, told the School Board week that “if you tear down Wilson School, you are saying to Arlington students history is important only in the classroom, not in the board room.” Meanwhile, Karson wrote in a newspaper letter to the editor that “the concerned community has been silenced.” [InsideNova, Washington Post]
Abby Raphael Won’t Seek Reelection — School Board member Abby Raphael says she will not seek reelection in 2015 and has no plans to run for County Board. Raphael is on her second term on the School Board. Some believe she may have her sights set on a state-level office. [InsideNova]
Moran Laments ‘Demagoguing’ Left — Retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says the left wing of the Democratic party is starting to pick up some traits of the Republican party’s Tea Party wing. Moran said liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was “demagoguing” the issue of financial reform by opposing a compromise spending bill — a bill that avoided a government shutdown but contained some changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. [Blue Virginia]
Board Approves Bond Refinancing — Arlington County will save $147,000 a year over the next 16 years thanks to a refinancing of three wastewater and water system bonds. The County Board unanimously approved the refinancing on Saturday. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Dave Prentice