Editor: I am extremely offended that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors intends to build a new sprawling one level 18,500-square-foot fire station on the Philomont Horse show grounds which are located on Snickersville Turnpike. 

We do not need a new fire station as the current fire station can be easily renovated with an additional 12,000-square-foot addition (no need for temporary housing) with substantial savings to Loudoun County taxpayers. A rendition of the proposed new station was presented at a “community meeting” Dec. 8 at Franklin Park. The architects took great pride in illustrating how they have incorporated building features to allow this station to “blend in” with the historically rural architecture of the surrounding community. How this huge facility is deemed “compatible” with a rural historic village per the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, is an insult to Philomont residents.

I have lived in Loudoun County all my life. My husband and I moved next door to the Philomont Horse show grounds in 1966. Our water supply has always come from a spring on our property. With the construction of this mammoth new building, coupled with the thousands of square feet of asphalt, we are scared to death of the contamination and ultimate demise of our water supply, and the certain noise and light pollution. The architects have proposed to decontaminate vehicles and equipment on site. How will this impact my neighbors, my family and the creek that feeds the pond and beyond? No one knows, because an environmental or traffic study has yet to be completed. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue seems more concerned with building their Taj Mahal than the quality of life of the Philomont residents. How can this callous disregard of the Philomont community be warranted?

The seven current active members of the Philomont Volunteer Fire Department have betrayed the community and the former members of the PVFD by supporting the relocation of the fire station and threatening to donate their cash balances ($1.8M), generated by the community, to the Keep Loudoun Beautiful program. I served in the PVFD ladies auxiliary for over 30 years. My husband and brother were PVFD members. Prior to eventual county funding, we worked hard to build up the assets of the PVFD so we could buy new equipment required to protect our community, which included thousands of servings of my sausage gravy and biscuits at our many fundraisers. Since 2021, the PVFD refuses to accept new volunteers, enabling the current seven members, with no community oversight, to control the land, buildings, and cash. which we built up over 60 years. 

A petition was recently circulated calling for renovation, not replacement, of the current fire station that was signed by over 450 county residents, many who live in our first due area. This included 35 former members of the PVFD, board and ladies auxiliary. There has never been an acknowledgment by LCBOS or PVFD of the wishes of these 450 people.

My family and my neighbors do not want this new fire station built on the horse show grounds. We want the current fire station to remain in the core of our village, save county taxpayers over $10 million and preserve our only green space as a community park. Very interesting to note that one of the PVFD’s seven members, who owns an historic property adjacent to the horse show grounds, has recently sold it in a private sale and will move to a new home in Round Hill. I guess he does not want a large new fire station in his backyard, even though he has been the strongest advocate of this effort for many years.

Listen to the voices of the community and county taxpayers, “Renovate the current fire station.”

Marjorie Baker, Philomont

(5) comments

1person

Well said Marjorie! Great points and the spring feeds the pond(s) & creek and eventually Goose Creek and beyond. Hopefully more taxpayers will take note of what is happening listen to the people, read your letter and speak up. Thank you for sharing what is really going on. Renovate is the answer and perhaps it’s time to elect people who listen.

ace10

The issue is much, MUCH larger than one particular project. Loudoun has a leadership problem. Loudoun has a spending problem. Loudoun has gotta-have-the-best problem. Unless/until taxpayers stand up and say enough is enough, there won't be any change in the direction.

Jonathan

They don't care what we need. They don't care what we want. They are rewarding people with tax money. Elections have consequences and I am afraid that much of the county hasn't figured that out yet. We need to clean house in the next election. We can't afford this kind of failure.

timsmith

I agree with Marjorie Baker: "Renovation Not Relocation!" It sounds like the clique in charge of Philomont Fire Station are acting like petty tyrants. Why do they need a shiny new toy when the existing facility can be updated? Please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Listen to the people! Happy New Year Loudoun!

Tadpole

Now ask yourself why the BoS approve it. A tyrant doesn’t ask for approval.

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