Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Tim Hemstreet and Tony Buffington would agree: Hard work and persistence pays off.
Just as the U.S. ladies secured their second straight World Cup win last week, county Supervisor Buffington and his constituents in Aldie were toasting a victory of their own.
After years of searching for a new fire station site that would service the Aldie and Middleburg areas, county officials at the 11th hour found a new property outside the historic village that appears suitable for the planned 19,000-square-foot station. It’s not a done deal yet – there’s still a due diligence period and other technical details to hash out – but the property looks promising.
"I think with this new site, it's going to satisfy everybody," Aldie Heritage Association representative Guy Gerachis told the Times-Mirror. "It'll be big enough so that the fire department gets the building they need, and it's out of the historic village, and I think the property is large enough for future expansion if they need to."
Buffington (R-Blue Ridge), Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) and other supervisors should indeed cheers.
(We would include County Administrator Hemstreet in that last sentence, but we know when it comes to work, celebrating isn’t his style. We commend his head-down, do-your-work approach.)
Beyond the county officials working directly on the newfound site on the southwest plot of Gilbert's Corner, this new development is yet another win for citizen engagement. Aldie heritage groups and preservationists — many of whom were also active in the comprehensive plan fight — should be equally acknowledged in delivering the new property. It was the citizens' relentless public input that kept the issue in the limelight, ensuring Buffington and staff didn’t settle for the original location.
We aren’t so Pollyannaish to believe the tides have forever turned in Loudoun when it comes to the little guy triumphing over developers and sprawl supporters, but there is encouraging evidence that the onslaught of public feedback and commentary is paying dividends.
First, residents' calls were heeded in the drastic reduction of housing units from the Planning Commission’s comprehensive plan recommendations to the version that was eventually adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
And now it appears the quaint character of historic Aldie won't be infringed upon with a clunky, out-of-place fire station.
This years-running issue has always been a tough one. Of course our firefighters and first responders should have a new, more accommodating facility – that was never up for debate. But it was always hard to believe there weren't better options than bulldozing historic properties and building the station smack dab in the middle of the village.
With the no-quit attitude of our World Cup futbolistas, local politicians and public workers did their duties to a T on the Aldie station search: They listened to those who put them in office and pay their salaries.