20 November 1996 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes
- Supervisor Mike Frey was the guest of the Sully District Council at its November meeting.
- Mike spoke about continuing budget problems facing Fairfax County. Increased efficiency will not completely cover future budget cuts--there will have to be cuts in service.
- The redesign of the county's computer system is finally being implemented. There will now be a single intake worker for social service recipients so the same information won't be entered multiple times in different agencies multiple systems.
- The state's welfare system reform program seems to be working, with the net change that the local government's cost seems to be increasing they more intensively mange the program.
- The county's search for a new County Executive is expected to take over six months. The county hired a personnel consulting firm to conduct a nationwide search. In addition, the county will hire a new county auditor to replace the selectee who resigned before taking the position. The county's civil service has seen twenty years of tremendous growth -- some of the senior managers have been with the system that long and have now begun to retire. There will be new faces in some top positions. The county has hired another consultant to see if they can flatten the county's management structure. Mike also sees that the School Superintendent Spillane may depart by next December.
- Sully District has lots of unfulfilled needs. In athletics, Hank Strickland, the Sully Park Board Representative, has arranged for the development of 15 new fields, and arranged for road builders to dump to dump clean fill and grade the properties. This is a win-win situation as the citizens get the use of new fields and the contractors save on hauling and disposal costs. Negotiations are underway with EDS to allow CYA to use their property for soccer and ball fields. Access would be off Wall Road at Centreville Road between Barnsfield and McLearen roads..
- The School Board plans to open the new intermediate school at McLearen and Centreville roads in 1998. This will help relieve over crowding at Franklin Intermediate. A $250 million school bond scheduled for 1997 will include funds for the construction of a new high school at the Westfields site. The School Board projects its capital funds need as $570 million over the next six years. The problem is that the county's bond potential is only half of that, so if the school gets the full amount, they still would only get half of what they need. The rest of the county's needs--recreation, fire, police, prisons, storm water, revitalization, etc.--go unanswered.
- As an example, the last county park bond was in 1988, and one should have been scheduled for 1994. Sully needs a recreation center. There would need to be funds for both land acquisition and building construction. In addition, the county is exploring the possibility of acquiring the Timberlake site, a former private park in the Vale area. The owners of the site have offered it to the county for $5.8 million, while a developer has offered $7 million. There is a possibility that a private trust could buy the land and hold until the county raises the funds for its acquisition. The trust would want the county to pay any interest, and repay the trust when the county authorizes the bond. The trust has negotiated a six-month stay in the purchase date for a 10% purchase price fee.
- The Fair Lakes police station may be reaching its operational capacity, with a new station needed in the Centreville area. There are no studies indicating where a new facility should be built as of yet.
- The Board of Supervisors authorized the purchase of the 250-year-old Mount Gilliad property in Centreville. The owner financed the $750,000 cost over five years. The first payment isn't due until the next fiscal year. The owner credited a developer's $250,000 deposit, which developer forfeited, to the county's purchase price.
- The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum Annex is on track. The new director of the museum has made it a higher priority. Since the federal government is not paying for the building, the Air and Space Museum has to raise the $100 million on its own to cover the cost. It should open in 2001.
- Mike answered several questions from council members:
- The Western Bypass, if it is built, will be west of Fairfax County.
- Part of the North-South connector is considered part of the Route 29 Park Bypass.
- If Prince William County removes the Route 28 Bypass from its plans, then the Tri-county connector will have to be reevaluated.
- The swap of the county-owned property at Fair Lakes Parkway and West Ox Road and the HP-property at Stringfellow Road and I-66 did not occur.
- The widening of Centreville Road north from Metrotech Drive to McLearen Road is several years in the future.
- There is no county road bond money left, which caused the county agency that oversaw the spending of the money to disband. The money funded several designs that for which there are no funds for construction. There may be additional state funds in 1998 to implement some of the plans.
- The county established a full-time youth violence coordinator for Chantilly and Centreville area using federal grant money.
- The Fairfax Land Preservation Trust gave a presentation on their plans to preserve the Timberlake property.
- They would use funds from the Trust for Public Lands to buy the property until the county could acquire the parcel. The parcel owners and the trust have come to agreement. The agreement depends on the county and the park authority agreeing to include funds in the next bond offering and determining a date for the bond referendum.
- The council referred this matter to the Land Use and Transportation Committee, with a recommendation expected at the December meeting.
- The next Sully District Council meeting will feature a representative from the police department. The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., 18 December 1996, in conference room 7 of the Fairfax Government facility.
Sully District Council Minutes
Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes