Work to Begin on Ashburn Library

Work to Begin on Ashburn Library

Loudoun County supervisors booked their approval Tuesday for a contractor to begin work on the Ashburn library.

The board unanimously approved a $4.02 million contract with Tucon Construction Corporation to build a 23,000-square-foot library in the Ashburn Farm development, proposed for completion in April 2003.

“It was needed some time ago based on our population and our build-out,” said Supervisor Chuck Harris (D-Broad Run).

The Finance and Government Services Committee favored the contractor out of the seven bids the county received. Supervisor Jim Burton (I-Mercer) said the bids were higher than expected, but that $300,000 in contingency funds will be used to help fund the project. The project is expected to cost $6.57 million, instead of $6.27 million.

The board’s vote on the contract was intended for the consent agenda, but Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) requested the item be taken off for discussion. Delgaudio asked why Doug Henderson, director of Library Services, was not present to answer questions. Burton said Henderson was in Richmond defending First Amendment rights at the request of Del. Joe T. May (R-32nd) and that the library contract was not in jeopardy, unlike the rights.

“We’re sending our employees to Richmond. Where does it end, sending people to Richmond?” Delgaudio asked the board.

Supervisor Eleanore Towe (D-Blue Ridge) told Delgaudio he needs to ask for a staff member to be present if he pulls an item off the consent agenda.

“I want them to come here where they work,” Delgaudio said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the board approved 6-1-2 endorsing a grant application to the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program. A partnership of the Goose Creek Association, the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Center for Watershed Protection plans to apply for the grant to fund a watershed-planning project. The project will provide a watershed vulnerability analysis and a survey of stream conditions in three sub-watersheds of Goose Creek, the largest watershed in the county.

Burton said the project will not have any fiscal impact.

Delgaudio handed out a list of questions, asking why the Goose Creek should be studied if it is acknowledged to be clean. “In light of down-zoning, is there a threat from development?” he asked. “Where’s the pressure on this creek? … How much is it going to cost us?”

“To simply talk about today only … is irresponsible and not why we’re on this board,” Harris said.

“As a Virginian, clean air and drinking water are your constitutional rights,” said Supervisor Mark Herring (D-Leesburg).

“We’re not congressmen," Delgaudio retorted. "We’re Board of Supervisors.”

Delgaudio was the one voting against the endorsement. Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) and Bill Bogard (R-Sugarland Run) left midway through the meeting to attend another meeting and were not present for the vote.

THE BOARD APPROVED the public participation and review process for implementing the county’s revised general plan, which outlines the county’s growth for the next 20 years.

In January, the county hired Clarion Associates to prepare new and revised amendments for the county’s regulatory documents that will be needed to update the county’s zoning map. The county contracted the Chapel Hill, N.C. consulting firm for nearly $300,0000 to prepare the amendments for the county’s zoning ordinance, Facilities Standards Manual and Land Subdivision Development Ordinance. Clarion Associates is scheduled to complete draft materials by mid-April. At that time, the public participation process will begin and continue through the next month, as recommended by the Land Use Committee. The process will include targeted focus groups that will be asked to give input on changes to the regulatory documents.

The Land Use Committee also recommended the board review the materials in joint work sessions with the planning commission, but that the board and commission hold separate public hearings. The first public hearing with the planning commission is tentatively scheduled in July.

The work schedule allows the board to adopt a zoning map and the zoning ordinance revisions by fall 2002.

The Land Use Committee’s recommendations received approval 5-2-2 with Delgaudio and Drew Hiatt (R-Dulles) against. Delgaudio said the board should spend more time on the 2003 fiscal plan instead.