October 3, 2012 -- "Civic Federation Endorses All 4 County Bond Referendums"
in Arlington Sun Gazette
Every two years, Arlington's voters determine the county's future by
set of bond issues.
On November 6,
Arlington Public Schools - $42,620,000
If approved by the voters,
proceeds from the bonds will
be used to pay for the projects discussed below.
1. Parks and Recreation: $50,553,000
Parks & Recreation Projects:
Long Bridge Park (Aquatics,
Fitness Center, and Design of Final Outdoor Phase)
Parks Modernization and
Land Acquisition and Open Space
Tyrol Hill Park
Total - Parks
& Recreation Bond
2. Transportation & Metro: $31,946,000Transportation: $17,346,000
The Transportation program provides funding for the Street Paving Program, WalkArlington, BikeArlington, Neighborhood Traffic Calming and projects leveraged with state and federal transportation match.
& METRO Projects:
|Long Bridge Interchange
and Neighborhood Traffic Calming
|Match for State and Federal
Projects and other
3. Community Infrastructure: $28,306,000
Neighborhood Conservation: $11,000,000
This program funds
neighborhood infrastructure improvements that have been requested by
neighborhoods and approved by the Board including: street improvements
sidewalk, curb and gutter, park improvements, street lighting and
beautification. Proposed by civic associations, neighborhood
projects are evaluated twice yearly by the Neighborhood Conservation
Committee, which then makes recommendations to the
Public/Government Facilities: $3,831,000
This program funds the maintenance capital needs of public and government infrastructure. During the lifecycle of a typical facility, roofs, mechanical, electrical and other systems and interior / exterior finishes require replacement or renewal to remain in good working order. Projects generally extend the useful life of the facility, and may improve safety systems and energy efficiency. This program would provide the County with the financial flexibility to make the necessary investments at the right time without significant detrimental effects to other approved programs and projects.Information Technology / Public Safety: $13,475,000
This program funds the ConnectArlington and Intelligent Transportation System projects. These projects will build out fiber optic infrastructure interconnecting County facilities and transportation infrastructure to enhance reliability and agility, and will accommodate future requirements. These projects will also allow public safety to build a fully redundant network to enhance traffic and emergency / incident management.
|Facilities Maintenance Capital
|North Side Salt Facility
|Information Technology and
Community Infrastructure Bond
4. Public Schools: $42,620,000
The Schools’ capital proposal was developed after a review of the physical conditions at school facilities, an analysis of existing and future facility needs and project affordability. The 2012 bond will fund the design and construction of new elementary schools, facility additions and various School projects.
Parks and Recreation
Arlington's population is anticipated to increase by 10% in the
coming decade. Arlington maintain its park facilities well, but
some of the facilities are reaching the ends of their initial life
cycles, and it's cheaper to maintain facilities timely or replace as
needed rather than to defer maintenance, to avoid greater cost in the
future. Our parks are extensively used, especially evenings and
In the current economic environment, interest rates are at historic
completed its 2010 bond issue sales at 2.7%.
Arlington is one of the most densely-populated counties
in the nation. Over the last 30 years, Arlington's voters have
the importance of parks and open space for our growing, diverse
and have approved bond proposals to develop and maintain the county's
and recreation facilities. These bond issues enabled Arlington to
for nature centers, soccer fields, running and biking trails; to
sites such as Fort C.F. Smith; and to build facilities such as Thomas
Jefferson Community Center and Barcroft Recreation Center. Park
also helped to support public art and cultural activities, and to
enhance our existing parks.
Arlington's triple-triple A bond rating means the lowest available
municipal interest rates apply to Arlington's bond issues
From the CIP:
The Local Parks and Recreation capital improvement program consists
of key projects and program elements that will provide for the
construction of new park facilities and major upgrades or renovations
of existing park facilities. The program represents an implementation
plan and strategies based upon sound planning to ensure that capital
funding is invested strategically for the benefit of the County and its
The Local Parks and Recreation projects focus on completing or
furthering parks that have Board-adopted park master plans or have
undergone significant community planning efforts. The FY2013 -
FY2022 CIP contains funding to complete significant phases or final
completion of several important projects including Long Bridge Park,
Tyrol Hills Park, Four Mile Run Near-Stream Improvements and Mosaic
Park. The ten-year CIP also includes funding for master planning,
design and construction of new parks including several parks identified
in the Crystal City Sector Plan, Jennie Dean Park, Glebe and Randolph
Park and several neighborhood parks in the Ballston-Virginia Square
area. The program also focuses on funding for four ongoing program
elements: Parks Capital Maintenance Program, Synthetic Turf Program,
Parks Land Acquisition and Open Space Program and Park Enhancement
The Parks Maintenance Capital Program provides for recurring, systematic reinvestment in existing outdoor facilities to insure efficient, safe, high quality park and recreation facilities. The program funds the replacement or major renovation of different elements of outdoor park and recreation facility assets including athletic fields and courts, lighting, playgrounds, picnic shelters, restrooms, site amenities, trails, parking, and specialty facilities such as the skate park. The program also addresses accessibility, safety and storm water improvements that are complementary to renovating the assets.
The Synthetic Turf Program is largely focused on replacement of
existing synthetic fields that are approaching the end of their useful
life. At the end of 2013, the County will have twelve synthetic turf
fields, including the three fields added in 2011 at Long Bridge Park,
the County's first synthetic baseball diamond at Barcroft Park added in
2012 and the community field at Rocky Run Park which will be finished
in 2013. The funding for FY2013-FY2022 also identifies the opportunity
to convert four grass fields to synthetic turf. Conversion costs
involve installation of synthetic grass, in-fill underground drainage
systems, lighting, and site amenities including site furnishings,
pathways, landscaping and permanent or portable restrooms as needed.
Due to the additional playability of synthetic grass fields, the new
synthetic fields would be lighted so that they are available for
The Parks and Land Acquistion and Open Space Program funds the acquisition of strategic parcels of park land. Potential acquisition sites are identified in the Public Spaces Master Plan and the Land Acquisition and Preservation Policy (anticipated adoption fall 2012).
The Park Enhancement Grant (PEG) Program enhances parks by providing
citizen-initiated projects in a timely manner. The goal of this program
is to enable Arlington residents to initiate small capital improvement
and beautification projects for parks and recreation facilities in
their respective neighborhoods. The PEG Program encourages community
involvement and fosters pride by enabling creative improvements in
parks and recreation facilities. Community-proposed projects are
submitted annually to the Arlington County Park and Recreation
Commission for review, who then recommends a list of projects to the
County Board for final approval. The current individual project limit
is $15,000. Since the program began in 1978, more than 240 projects
have been funded. These include projects such as park furniture,
pathways, fencing, public art, educational and interpretive signage as
well as sports and building amenities.
From the CIP:
Transportation: The FY 2013-2022 Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) represents a balanced program of transportation projects that continues Arlington County’s commitment to developing, maintaining and managing a multimodal transportation system that emphasizes travel choice and equal access for all users. Over the next ten years, Arlington plans to invest over $981 million in a range of capital improvements that seek to enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of its residents, workers, and visitors. The CIP program was developed using a prioritization process that reflects the goals and objectives set forth in Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan and other County planning efforts. The first six years of the current proposed CIP total $798.2 million, compared to a six-year program in the prior CIP totaling $387.8 million. The increase is due to primarily to increased and accelerated streetcar costs as well as inclusion of projects that are currently underway.
The centerpiece of the current Transportation CIP is the inclusion of streetcars in the Route 1 and Columbia Pike areas of the County. These are a continuation of community building in the County, which began approximately 50 years ago with the planning and development of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. While providing funding for two streetcars, the proposed CIP strives to provide a balanced program that also includes funding for bus transit, the County-wide Fiber Project, Metro station access improvements, bridge maintenance and major rebuilds, parking enhancements, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, street lights and signals, and parking meters. For the first time, the paving program is included in the transportation section of the CIP. (In past years, this program was included in General Government Maintenance Capital.)
Funding for the transportation CIP program activities comes from a balance of state and federal sources and is supplemented by local sources. The two primary sources of local revenues for this program are the Transportation Capital Fund (TCF) (formerly known as the Transportation Investment Fund) and Crystal City, Potomac Yard, Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The TCF has been the primary source of funding for the transportation program since it was adopted by the County Board in 2008. It is funded by an additional real estate tax on industrial and commercial properties for transportation initiatives; the rate is currently set at $0.125 per $100 of assessed value. Based on current cashflow projections, the plan assumes issuance in FY 2014 of revenue bonds supported by the TCF to pay for Columbia Pike street improvements and streetcar.
In 2010, the County Board established the Crystal City, Potomac Yard, Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area. Incremental growth in property tax revenues in the TIF area are directed to this fund to be invested in public infrastructure improvements that support the Crystal City Sector Plan. This revenue source is intended to supplement local Transportation Capital Funds, private investment and state and federal sources. The amount of annual tax revenue for the TIF fund is determined using the January 1, 2011 TIF area total assessment value ($9.8 billion) as the baseline. Then, in each subsequent year, the assessment growth relative to the base is determined, and a portion (currently 33 percent) of the resulting tax revenue is segregated into the TIF fund. Beginning in FY 2015, revenues from the TIF are planned to be leveraged with revenue bonds in support of the planned Route 1 Corridor streetcar.
The CIP provides information on individual projects and an estimate of required funding. This program structure offers maximum programming flexibility, enabling the County to adapt project priorities to fluctuations in available state and federal dollars. As noted earlier, the program also prioritizes significant projects like the Columbia Pike Streets and Streetcar and Crystal City Streets and Route 1 Corridor Streetcar, while providing ongoing funding for critical transit, complete streets, and local initiatives that enhance the community.
Metro: The proposed six year Metro capital program is mainly focused on the critical state of good repair investments, including:
The goal of this project is to support, through annual contributions, Metro’s rehabilitation, modernization and expansion of the rail and bus infrastructure to better meet mass transportation needs throughout the metropolitan region. WMATA's Proposed FY13 - FY18 Capital Funding Agreement consists of $5.1 billion of critical system projects necessary to maintain the MetroBus, MetroRail and MetroAccess systems over the next six years. The program is heavily focused on replacement / rehab of the system’s oldest infrastructure with minimal service enhancement investments. WMATA has previously identified close to $11 billion of needs over a ten year period; the proposed six year program reflects a constrained request in light of financial constraints for Metro and its contributing jurisdictions. It should be noted that this program includes $1.5 billion in dedicated federal funding over 10 years, subject to a $1.5 billion match by Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. WMATA finalized the Capital Funding Agreement for FY 2011 - FY 2016 in July, 2010. Arlington’s base share of the six-year program was $80 million, with the potential for an increase in jurisdictional contributions based on annual updates to the Agreement. Subsequent CIP’s are adopted annually based on the original Capital Funding Agreement.
Elected officials: County Board members Libby Garvey, Mary Hynes, Jay Fisette, Walter Tejada, and Chris Zimmerman; School Board member Sally Baird, Todd McCracken, Emma Violand Sanchez; State Delegates Bob Brink and Patrick Hope
Arlington residents: Rob Abbot, Gaston Araoz, Steve Baker, Mathew Barnes, Jane Bergen, Les Bergen, Mark Blacknell, Paul Carver, Eric Cassel (Parks Bond), Judy Connolly, Tom Connolly, Jean Crawford, Aimee Dawson, Craig Esherick, Peter Fallon, Madi Green, Mark Habeeb, Craig Hines, Paul Holland, Alan Howze, Pam Howze, Carrie Johnson, Kip Malinosky, Maureen Markham, Joan McDermott, Kris McLaughlin, John Milliken, Fred Mittelman, Jody Olson, Peter Owen, Joe Pelton, Robert Platt, Michael Raizen, Bree Raum, Edmund Rennolds, Susan Robinson, Doug Ross, Ann Rudd, Jason Rylander, Terry Serie, Noah Simon, George Towner, David Van Wagner, Sue Walton, Mary Margaret Whipple, Keith Whyte, Jay Jacob Wind
Organizations: Arlington County Civic Federation, Arlington County Democratic Committee, Friends of Long Bridge Park, Potomac Valley Track Club
|Please send to VOTE YES FOR PARKS
611 South Ivy Street · Arlington, Virginia 22204 · or e-mail to · Jay.Wind@att.net