All three referendums pass
All three Loudoun County referendums passed Nov. 8 and will provide $172.6 million in funding for the construction of four new schools, a much needed renovation at Park View High School, emergency services equipment and a change in the voting dates for Leesburg Town Council.
The Acquisition of Fire and Rescue Apparatus bond passed with 72 percent of voters voting yes. The Election date change passed with 75 percent of voters choosing yes and The School Bond passed with 58 percent of voters approving.
The School Bond referendum, costing $169.6 million, will cover more than 98 percent of the $172.6 million and cover the construction of the new Moorefield Station Elementary School or ES-16 for $22.83 million; the new Ashburn Area Elementary School or ES-22 for $22.83 million; the new Ashburn Area Middle School or MS-6 for $39.38 million; the new Ashburn Area High School or HS-8 for $81 million; and $3.57 million of renovations to Park View High School.
These new schools are needed because schools throughout the county, especially in Ashburn, are already overcrowded and an influx of 3,000 students are expected to be entering the school system over the foreseeable future. Since 1991, Loudoun County has built 46 new schools and seen its student population explode from 15,118 students to an estimated 66,266 students in 2011.
The Board of Supervisors selected general obligation bonds to fund new schools because they have historically been sold with a 20-year repayment schedule for construction projects. Due to this 20-year schedule, the expected new population will be able to help pay for the new schools.
With the passing of the school bond, Loudoun County residents will not be impacted for the Tax Year 2011. However future tax bills will be required to meet annual payments based on property values.
According to a request by LCPS from Loudoun County Government ‘s Department of Management and Financial Services, those values are estimated at $100,000 will pay $18.06; $350,000 will pay $63.22; and $500,000 will pay $90.32.
As a result of the passing of the Acquisition of Fire and Rescue Apparatus bond Loudoun County will receive emergency equipment at various stations throughout the county.
According to Deputy Chief Howard J. Dawley, the majority of the funds will go to funding eight new capital vehicles – both to replace vehicles that have exceeded their service life and for acquiring new vehicles for yet-to-open stations.
There are three vehicle purchases that will be funded completely by the county: a tanker for Lovettsville (as requested by the Lovettsville Volunteer Fire Department), a pumper for Aldie (requested by the Aldie Volunteer Fire Department) and a tanker for the Western Loudoun Station, endorsed by the Fire and Rescue Commission. If granted, the latter vehicle will be garaged at the pending Rt. 671 fire-rescue facility.
Additional purchases include an ambulance for the Route 28 Station, which may ultimately be set up as a jointly-funded project with the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad, a pumper for Lovettsville proposed as a 40 percent county contribution and a pumper for Route 28 Station proposed as a 50 percent county contribution.
Finally, both an ambulance for Ashburn and for Arcola are proposed as 59 percent county contributions. The Ashburn ambulance will be garaged at the Ashburn Volunteer Fire-Rescue Station and the latter at the Brambleton Fire-Rescue Station, a pending facility awaiting relocation of the Arcola Fire-Rescue Company.
In addition to voting for candidates, the town of Leesburg also had to decide whether they wanted to switch town election dates from May to November, which will go into effect in 2012.
The town has their elections set up to elect a new mayor ever two years and new council members every four during even year election. With three council members on the two year rotation with the mayor and ever two years there are three different council members up for election.
They used to take place in May rather than November in order to keep the focus on town issues rather than having them in November when presidential and federal elections are happening.
The Town of Leesburg was petitioned back in February by Barbara Bayles Roberts who gave them 2,400 signatures from people who wanted to see the election change on the ballot.
During the meeting in February, Roberts mentioned that the separate election dates were costing the town more money with less voter turnout. But, what many town officials feel is that if the election date is moved to November the town issues will get lost.
Staff Writers Matt Vecchio and Laura Peters contributed to this report.