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Loudoun board approves bolstering transportation staff

The Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved appropriating more than $190,000 to the county's Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure to hire new staffers to deal with the heightened workload within the fast-growing county's capital projects plan.

The county plans to bring on three new full-time positions in the Department of Transportation and one in the the procurement division in the finance department.

The half-year cost for the four positions is estimated at $191,506, with funding coming from the county's non-departmental contingency account. The full-year cost for fiscal 2015 is estimated to be more than $390,000, an amount to be included in next year's base budget.

Loudoun County's current six-year, $1.06 billion Capital Improvement Plan includes more than $541 million for transportation projects. That figure is “anticipated to significantly increase in the foreseeable future,” according to county staff.

Moreover, it's “anticipated that new revenue sources for transportation projects including Northern Virginia Transportation Authority funding and dedicated property tax revenue will result in additional projects and funding increases to future Capital Improvement Plans,” staff stated in a report.

All these circumstances considered, the board and staff agreed more personnel within the county's government was needed.

The proposal was included on the board's consent agenda Oct. 16, meaning it was passed without discussion by the full board.

At the finance committee level, where the item also passed unanimously, finance chairman Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said the board has to make an investment in transportation and infrastructure if it's going to follow through with its focus on transportation and road projects.

Vice chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run), who sits on the finance committee, supported Buona's remarks.

“We need some action here to move forward on these projects,” Williams said. “ … the board has invested so much in the CIP for transportation, we certainly need to get the resources allocated to that department so we can make sure these projects are done properly and they're done expeditiously.”

Also included in Buona's motion in committee was the direction to county staff to prepare an amendment to the Procurement Resolution of Loudoun County to eliminate the requirement for Board of Supervisors review and approval of contract awards, contract renewals or contract amendments related to items previously approved by the board during the budget process, provided the contract amount is within the approved budget amount.

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Always great to see money thrown at re-paving streets that don’t need it in Loudoun county. All paving should be pushed back at least a year or two in favor of finishing many other useful road projects. Our BOS lack common sense. And it appears not many of them actually drive around Loudoun much….

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