Brian Fauls, Government Affairs Manager
A little bit of drama at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting last week. It seems Prince William/Fairfax Delegate Tim Hugo is trying to muscle in some amendments to the state budget that would kill two road projects of vital importance to Loudoun residents; the Bi-County Parkway and a new round about at Braddock Road and Pleasant Valley Road. The Chamber has been working with other Loudoun business and civic groups to kill these amendments in the General Assembly. The Board of Supervisors was trying to decide whether to join that fight; and they did, most emphatically. I think Delegate Hugo should feel lucky he wasn’t in the room because the Supervisors were practically spitting fire over his meddling. Awesome to see the passion from our Board.
As fun as the debate over the Hugo amendments was, the big event of the night was really County Administrator Tim Hemstreet’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal.
The budget debate is far from over but this was a good first step. Highlights include:
* $1.155 proposed real estate tax rate;
* $4.20 personal property tax rate;
* $126.5 million for transportation infrastructure;
* $40 million for Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit;
* $80.3 million for roads; and,
* $6.2 million for transit buses and facilities
Between the County’s money and the new money flowing in from the state I think we’re going to see some major improvements to Loudoun’s roads sooner rather than later.
We may also see some progress on Loudoun’s workforce housing problem pretty soon too. The Co-Chairs of the Affordable Housing Stakeholders Group were on hand to deliver the group’s interim report to the Board. The Chamber is working the task force and other stakeholders to take a hard look at this problem from all sides. By all accounts the task force is taking a very broad look at the problem and some outside the box solution. Their final report could be very interesting; stay tuned.
Finally, Department of Fire, Rescue & Emergency Management Fire-Rescue Chief, Keith Brower, was on hand to talk about Loudoun County’s Public Protection Classification, which sounds kind of technical and boring I know. But, this classification has a huge impact on residential and commercial property insurance rates. Bottom line, Loudoun County’s fire protection capabilities are better than ever and this could mean significant reductions in insurance costs for Loudoun businesses and homeowners. At the very least it’s worth a call to your insurance company.