Supervisors Will Hold Public Hearing

Supervisors Will Hold Public Hearing

The Board of Supervisors decided to move forward with the Rural Policy Area public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, after reviewing concerns brought by the Planning Commission.

Following a closed session, the board announced at the end of its Tuesday, June 6, business meeting that County Attorney John Roberts would put together a response to the memo received from the Planning Commission.

At its Monday, June 5, work session, the Planning Commission voted to forward the recertification of the Rural Policy Area amendments to its next work session following concerns the commissioners had over the advertisement for the scheduled public hearings.

In the memo, Planning Commission chair Teresa Whitmore and vice chairman Robert Klancher wrote that the commission did not feel several of its recommendations were included in the public advertisement, including allowing the development of rural villages and the grandfathering of applications in process.

"The Board of Supervisors concurred that they would be moving forward with public hearing tomorrow and Saturday morning," Supervisor Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) said after the conclusion of the closed session.

SUPERVISORS CONTINUED their discussion on the Route 7 locally funded bond package and voted to forward the package to a committee as a whole for further discussion.

At its May 16 meeting, the board instructed county staff to develop information for the package, which includes funding for a Route 7/Loudoun County Parkway interchange, a Sycolin Road overpass and an interchange at Route 7 and Route 690.

In order to get the road package on the November 2007 ballot as a referendum, the board would have to finalize the package by July.

Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) expressed concern over the projects included in the package, stating it was unfairly skewed towards Route 7.

"On Route 7 you have Tulloch, Staton, Waters, Clem, Kurtz and Delgaudio. I am one supervisor," he said. "I have been trying to solve my road problems through the development community. I need help. I think this is an unfair skewing of the roads."

Snow said he wanted some road projects along Route 50, such an eastbound lane on Route 50 and improvements to Route 606, included in the package.

"If you are going to tax my people who don't use Route 7, we need to have dollars on my side also," he said.

Other supervisors said they believed Route 50 road projects needed to be addressed.

"I agree that if we are going to do a representative bond package it should include projects along Route 50," Supervisor Mick Staton (R-Sugarland Run) said.

"If we could do something on both Route 7 and Route 50, we would be impacting over 100,000 daily trips," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said. "That would speak volumes in my opinion."

THE BOARD APPROVED an extensive consent agenda, including endorsing two interchange design concepts along Route 28 at Innovation Avenue and at Nokes Boulevard.

The consent agenda also included personal property tax relief for the Sheriff's Office's auxiliary staff. Auxiliary staff, or nonpaid, nonsworn volunteers, will receive tax relief for one vehicle and one county vehicle decal per member. Members would be required to earn a certain number of points, based on hours of service, before being eligible for the tax benefit. The program is similar to one offered for Fire and Rescue volunteers.

The board voted 6-3 to include a public inebriate center as part of the programming review for the Public Safety Master Plan. Supervisors Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Waters and Staton voted against the motion. The cost of the center will be included in the fiscal year 2008 budget process for the board's consideration.

A public inebriation center would offer an alternative for people found to be drunk in public, instead of being arrested and sent to jail. The center would be a place for people who are drunk to be confined until they are found to be free of alcohol and would wave any fine or court appearance.

Supervisors opposed to the motion felt that there was not enough punishment for those people who disrupted the community because they had been drinking.

"If they caused a problem, they've created a burden on our system and they need to pay a penalty," Waters said.

As chair of the public safety committee Supervisor Jim Clem (R-Leesburg) said this was a way to save money and the court's time, instead of fronting costs for people who do not normally appear in court.

"You put them in the jail, they won't pay that debt," he said. "They'll find a way to dodge that bullet. Some of these people are one-time offenders. I think it is equally important that we have not destroyed someone's life or future. We all make mistakes."

In an added item, the board voted to authorize a donation of $32,000 from The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the closing of two Youth After School (YAS) programs at Sterling Middle School and Simpson Middle School.

The Boys and Girls Club said it would take over operation of the after-school programs at both middle schools and that the $32,000 is enough money to cover first-year funding. The donation was accepted to avoid having solicit bids from other agencies to run the program. The programs cost the county approximately $110,000.

The action relies on the good faith that The Boys and Girls Club will open its program at the two schools in the fall, since The Boys and Girls Club will not go into contract until fiscal year 2008.

"This is going to be a good thing and I trust these people and it is important to have trust in your local people," Snow said.