In nothing of a surprise, transportation was the focus of the 2012 Loudoun Board of Supervisors strategic planning retreat Sept. 25.
The nine supervisors, all Republicans, touched on the importance of improving Route 606, Loudoun County Parkway and Waxpool Road, as well as shoring up substantial funding for road improvements.
Route 606 was deemed to be the top priority, as far as Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) is concerned.
“From my standpoint, the highlights were in the transportation area,” Letourneau said of the all-day session. “We did two major things that will have an impact – we identified our biggest road construction priorities, and we had a very open and robust discussion about funding them.”
On Route 606, Letourneau said the vastly overcrowded road is essential for residents in his area to connect with the Dulles Greenway and Route 28.
“And it will only get worse unless we widen it and improve the intersection at Route 50. An improved 606 will also help attract businesses around Dulles airport which is good for our commercial tax base and the long term viability of airport-related industries and the airport itself,” he said.
A proposal from Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) to dedicate “a 2 cent line item” from the general property tax rate to the county’s road improvement fund appears to have gained traction, as well, as both Letourneau and Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) commented on the topic.
Williams described York’s proposal as “looking at having a budget line item of a hypothetical 2 cents to help the county build and improve roads.”
For years, Loudoun supervisors have harped on the lack of state funding for much-needed road enhancements.
“I think [the retreat] discussion of all of our road priorities really helped crystallize the fact that we must start funding them on our own or they simply won’t get done,” Letourneau said.
York is expected to offer an amendment to the Finance Committee’s motion on fiscal guidance at the next board meeting to push for the “two penny” line item in the fiscal 2014 budget.
Said Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catocin) of the planning session: “I believe that this board is headed in the same direction and while we don’t all agree on everything, it is not personal and we are working together.”
Higgins drew on comments from the county’s interim finance director Ben Mays. Mays said after attending a number of the county’s retreats, and deeming many of them unsuccessful, he found the discussion Sept. 25 to be worthwhile.
“We were staying at the ‘higher level’ and not getting down into the ‘weeds,’” Higgins said, reiterating comments from Mays. The board’s doing its work in giving clear policy direction to staff and letting them do the implementation, Higgins added.
On the same note, Letourneau called the day “productive.”
“We were able to prioritize all of the various items that the board has initiated and the format led to more free-flowing discussions than what we are normally able to have at board meetings,” he said.
|The Loudoun Times-Mirror
is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.Open the e-edition now.