With the Town of Leesburg’s budget season set to kick off, a preview of the proposed Capital Improvements Program shows a growing list of construction projects and funding needs.
The proposed CIP, for fiscal years 2020 through 2025, includes a 28 new projects at a total cost of $44.3 million. The majority of those projects—20—belong to the Utilities Department, for upgrades to the water supply and sewer systems, some of which were identified during the recent water and sewer rate study. The utility projects are proposed to be funded through a combination utility bonds and cash.
The other eight new projects include six streets and highway projects; one parks and recreation project; and one storm drainage project. The list includes the first phase of improvements to the Town Hall campus grounds; drainage improvements on Royal Street; a traffic signal at the intersection of Sycolin Road and Gateway Drive; and completing a missing trail link along Catoctin Circle between the Ashton Downs neighborhood and West Market Street. More than 70 percent of the funding for the non-utility projects would come through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Along with the new additions, the proposed six-year plan also includes some changes to existing projects. The Leesburg Police Department expansion, just added into the capital plan last year, has seen its budget increase by $4 million, to a total of $16 million. The project also has been accelerated by six months. The budget for replacing and upgrading the department’s computer-aided dispatch and records management system was also increased.
Two long-planned road projects saw the largest increases in the proposed CIP, because of updated VDOT estimates. The Rt. 7/Battlefield Parkway interchange’s estimated budget increased by $15 million. Additional funding for this project will be sought by the town from VDOT and the NVTA.
Plans for the Leesburg Bypass interchange projects at Edwards Ferry and Fort Evans roads saw a $14.4 million budget increase.
The total for the six-year CIP tops $204 million.
Capital Projects Manager Tom Brandon attributed the significant increase project estimates to rising construction costs in Northern Virginia. He also noted that some of the planned transportation projects, notably the interchanges along East Market Street and Leesbug Bypass, contribute to a large proportion of the overall funding plan.
An upcoming study likely to add another capital project involves the recently automated Town Hall parking garage. A comprehensive engineering study will be undertaken to identify any structural repairs or maintenance needed for the almost 30-year-old garage.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the projects during a Planning Commission public hearing, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
The proposed CIP can be found online at leesburgva.gov under the Planning Commission’s Jan. 17 agenda packet.