County Prepares to Fill Capital Improvement Gaps

The county finance committee has given county staff direction on how to use extra capacity for funding in its capital improvement plan.

The current capital improvement program, which the board uses for one-time expenses like new buildings and roads and much of which it finances through grants or bonds runs for five more years, until fiscal year 2022. In each year, there is some extra room for new projects. But board members have individually requested even more new or accelerated projects, so as county staff begin work on a draft fiscal year 2018 budget, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet asked the finance committee how they would like staff to prioritize those projects.

Supervisor Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) characterized the decision as a “philosophical” one. Although it provides guidance, it does not set out specific projects. The committee voted unanimously to prioritize fast-tracked projects over new projects, and roads over sidewalks.

As an example, staff provided the option of moving forward extensions of Dulles West Boulevard and Evergreen Mills Road, an interchange at Rt. 7 and Rt. 287, a roundabout at Rt. 9 and Rt. 287, and surfacing four new turf fields in fiscal year 2019.

Some of those accelerations involved dividing larger projects into smaller portions, which finance committee Chairman Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) cautioned against to avoid complications as construction costs and code requirements change over time.

The finance committee will this year hear staff’s proposed capital improvement program on February 14, one day ahead of the rest of the county administrator’s proposed budget presentation.

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