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Supervisor Shawn Williams' Broad Run Newsletter
Posted on Jul 8th, 2015

Welcome to the July edition of the Broad Run District newsletter. As our nation celebrates our independence this weekend, I hope each of you is able to spend quality time with family and friends reflecting on the freedom we have in the United States. As President Eisenhower once said, "only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free." For a list of public fireworks displays in Loudoun County this holiday weekend, click here.  In this month's newsletter I have updates on the following subjects:
  • 2015 Broad Run Constituent Update Letter
  • Future Connection to Route 28 - Prentice Road Alignment
  • Metrorail Construction Update
  • Loudoun County Programs Gain National Recognition
  • Bond Sale Results 
  • Fireworks Safety Tips
  • Russell Branch Parkway Construction Update
  • Community Events and Information
As always, I appreciate your feedback on this newsletter.  Feel free to call me at 703-771-5088 or email me at shawn.williams@loudoun.gov with any questions or comments.  For regular updates on what I am doing as your Supervisor and to see what is going on around the County and in the Broad Run District like my facebook page.
 
Thanks,
   
Shawn
 
2015 Constituent Update Letter
 
My annual constituent update letter was dropped in the mail this week - be on the lookout for it in your mailbox! It's packed with information about the FY 2016 budget, transportation projects and economic development.  Here is a preview:
 
"Dear Broad Run District Resident:
 
As your representative on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, I am pleased to once again provide you with an annual update on the Board's activity. During the past year, the Board has continued to make progress in our core objectives of improving the local transportation network, increasing economic development and adequately funding public services..."

For a link to read the letter online, click here
Future Connection to Route 28 - Prentice Road Alignment
 
As part of our budget process earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors allocated $63 million in Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding is allocated in FY 2019 and FY 2020 to build a new bridge across the Broad Run between Waxpool Road and the Greenway. This road will connect the two Metro stations in Loudoun and provide an east-west alternative to Waxpool Road. This road project - Prentice Drive - was recommended to the Board as the result of a comprehensive traffic study that examined access to the Ashburn and Loudoun Gateway Metro stations. Because a portion of this alignment was different than currently planned in Loudoun's Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP), last year at my request the Board initiated a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) to add this road to the CTP. 
 
Yesterday, the Board approved the new alignment on Prentice Drive, which will reflect an altered alignment for existing Route 789 Extended (Lockridge Road) connecting Prentice Drive (Route 1071/Route1071 Extended/Route 789 Extended) from Pacific Boulevard to the Greenway Transit Connector (Metro Center Drive) and Lockridge Road West (Route 789 Extended) from Prentice Drive to Waxpool Road. The CPAM also proposed to amend the Greenway Transit Connector (Metro Center Drive) north of Devin Shafron Drive to Shellhorn Road and add the existing segment of Devin Shafron Drive from the Greenway Transit Connector (Metro Center Drive) to Shellhorn Road (Route 643) as a CTP roadway.
 
Prior to this approval, at our Public Hearing on June 10th, the Board considered three alignment options. Alternative 1 (which was recommended by the County's transportation department and approved by the Board of Supervisors) was found to provide better traffic circulation than the other two alternatives. This is because it retained two east-west roadways crossing Broad Run, which leads to less traffic congestion, improved property access, and more efficient and redundant emergency service routes. It also provides route alternatives during maintenance operations and potential incidents that close one of the two roadways. Alternatives 2 and 3 both suggested removing the Shellhorn Road stream crossing. I was adamantly opposed to removing Shellhorn Road's crossing of the Broad Run from the CTP because we need more ways to move traffic east-west, not less. While this important connection on Shellhorn still needs to be funded, I hope my successor on the Board of Supervisors will make this a top priority.

To see the CPAM item and view the alignment maps, click here.
 
Metrorail Construction Update

In April it was announced that Phase Two of the Metrorail Silver Line to Loudoun will be delayed by thirteen months due to safety engineering changes and new environmental regulations. While this delay is unfortunate, this revised timeline, with completion scheduled in late 2019/early 2020, should be a more realistic goal. The Board of Supervisors' Transportation and Land Use Committee received a detailed update from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), who is building the Silver Line, earlier this month. To see that presentation, click here.
 
Earlier this year Board voted to approve the name "Ashburn" for the Route 772 station and "Loudoun Gateway" for the Route 606 station. I think these names will help create the needed 'sense of place' around both station areas. In late 2014, the County closed on a federal loan for our portion of this project with the highly favorable interest rate of 2.87%. The federal funding will save Loudoun taxpayers millions of dollars over conventional financing. Additionally, the federal loan approved for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority should help keep tolls from rising on the Dulles Toll Road, which is great news for many Loudoun commuters.
 
Loudoun County Gains Recognition from the National Association of Counties
 
Loudoun County has been recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACO) with six NACO Achievement Awards. The NACO awards program recognizes innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents. The winning Loudoun County programs and their categories are:
 
  • Arts and Historic Preservation - Putting Loudoun's History at the Fingertips of Loudoun's Citizens: Loudoun County possesses court records dating back to the county's founding in 1757. The Clerk of the Circuit Court has instituted aggressive preservation programs to protect the records and initiated scanning programs to convert the historic papers to digital images. These digital images are posted online. Learn more at www.loudoun.gov/clerk-archives.
  • Information Technology - Electronic Commerce - Electronic Recording of Deeds and Land Records: To reduce traffic congestion and reduce visits to the courthouse, the Clerk of the Circuit Court led an effort to implement an electronic commerce program that allows professionals who prepare legal documents to submit those documents electronically. More information is online at www.loudoun.gov/erecording.
  • Libraries - You Belong @ Your Library: As part of the inclusive environment envisioned in its strategic plan, the Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL) created a three-tier continuum of programs titled "You Belong @ Your Library" that promote literacy and social connections for children, teens and adults with intellectual disabilities , sensory integration challenges, autism spectrum disorder, and physical disabilities. More information about LCPL is online at library.loudoun.gov.
  • Parks and Recreation - The Use of Voluntary GIS to Map Park and Trail Amenities: The Loudoun County Government and AOL partnered to map the amenities of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). Working with staff from the Office of Mapping and Geographic Information and the W&O D Regional Park, AOL employees fanned out on bicycles along the trail and used their cell phones to obtain GIS coordinates and photos of amenities. The resulting crowd-sourced map is online at www.loudoun.gov/wodmap.
  • Planning - Dulles Community Outreach Program: The purpose of the project, directed by the Board of Supervisors, is to conduct a dialogue with citizens of the Dulles community to identify neighborhood and community-wide priorities and to develop recommended strategies to aid in future planning and programmatic activities. The project has used multiple platforms and media for outreach, including innovative new technologies such as crowdsourced mapping. Details are online at www.loudoun.gov/dullescommunityoutreach.
  • Transportation - Keeping Loudoun Moving - Eastern Loudoun Transportation Study: In 2012, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop a report that would identify deficiencies and missing links in the transportation network in fast-growing eastern Loudoun. The report would provide information on network deficiencies; missing links in the network; an estimated cost to build the missing links and address the network deficiencies; an inventory of development proffers including an analysis of the timing of the proffers; an analysis of the right-of-way availability; and a summary of potential funding sources. The completed study serves as a foundation for future transportation improvements. More information is online at www.loudoun.gov/easternloudountransportationstudy.
These awards are a testament to the leadership and dedication of the County Administrator and his dedicated staff.  Loudoun County is fortunately to have such creative and hard-working public servants!
 
Bond Sale Results
 
On June 10th, Loudoun County sold $69.895 million in general obligation bonds at a favorable interest rate of 2.80 percent. Proceeds from the sale will be used to finance the construction and equipping of six schools including Discovery Elementary School; Elementary School (ES)-27 (Dulles North Area); Trailside Middle School; Middle School (MS)-9 (Dulles North Area); Riverside High School; and Rock Ridge High School. The proceeds will also be used for the renovations of Mercer Middle School, Freedom High School, and Loudoun Valley High School; stadium upgrades at Loudoun County High School; and site work for the Academies of Loudoun.
 
General government projects funded with the bond sale proceeds include: land acquisition for the Sterling Fire-Rescue Station, design of the Sterling Fire-Rescue Station, acquisition of fire-rescue apparatus; design of the Sterling Library, irrigation improvements on various athletic fields across the county; and construction and equipping of Phase 3 of the Dulles South Multipurpose Center. The county's bonds were in strong demand, with nine bidders submitting offers. Morgan Stanley & Company LLC offered the bid with the lowest interest rate which the county accepted.
 
In advance of the sale, the nation's top bond rating agencies again affirmed Loudoun County's triple-A rating on its general obligation bonds, noting the county's strong financial management practices and policies, and manageable debt. Loudoun County has held the AAA rating from Moody's since 2004, and AAA from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's since 2005. More information on Loudoun County finances and the Road to Triple-A status is online at www.loudoun.gov/triple-A.
 
Fireworks Safety Tips
 
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office wants you to have a safe Independence Day celebration. Did you know that, in the U.S., more fires are reported on July 4th than on any other day of the year? Nearly half of these fires are caused by fireworks. Did you know that children and teens between the ages of 10 and 14 are those most often injured while using consumer fireworks? The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks, with just a few simple safety tips:
  • In Loudoun County, consumer fireworks, namely sparklers and ground based fountains, are legal to possess and use on private property. You should only purchase legal consumer fireworks from a local business or roadside stand possessing a fireworks retail permit from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office. These fireworks have been tested to ensure they meet the Consumer Products Safety Commission's requirements.
  • Consumer fireworks that rise into the air, explode, travel laterally on the ground or emit projectiles are illegal to possess or use anywhere in Virginia. Local businesses will not sell these fireworks and possession and/or use of these materials is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
  • For backyard displays using legal consumer fireworks, the area should be wet down before use to prevent an accidental fire. Ground based fireworks should be placed on an open, stable and flat surface, with no one within 20 feet of a display.
  • ADULT SUPERVISION IS CRITICAL! Adults should supervise the use of sparklers as they burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees, which is hot enough to cause severe burns. They are also a poking hazard; therefore keep children from running while using them. Only a sober adult should ignite fireworks.
  • After the fireworks display, spent fireworks should be wet down and placed in a metal container with a lid. Place the container at least 15 feet away from any building or structure so that it may cool overnight. Re-check the container regularly to ensure nothing is smoldering, and then properly dispose of the wet materials.
  • Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
Remember, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. A list of professional fireworks shows scheduled throughout Loudoun County is online here. In addition, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office has posted a comprehensive list of legal consumer fireworks and permitted retail sales locations at www.loudoun.gov/fireworks.
 
Transportation Project Spotlight: Russell Branch Parkway 
 
Construction is well underway on the connection of Russell Branch Parkway between Ashburn Village Boulevard and Ashburn Road. In April, Loudoun County awarded a contract to Hazel Construction to build this roadway section. The completion date for the road to be open to traffic in planned for the Spring of 2016. In addition to alleviating traffic on Route 7, this connection should also help with reducing cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets in Ashburn Village.  
 
Community Events and Information:
 
Ashburn Classics -
Calling all seniors to join other seniors on Saturday, July 11, at 10:30 AM at the Mills Recreation Center in Ashburn Village.  They will be celebrating the 4th of July with an Ice Cream Social and members bringing their own lunch.  The Classics meet the 2nd Saturday of the month and there are satellite clubs such as Bridge, Bunco, Book Clubs, Mexican Train, card games and lunch and dinner groups.   For more information, please call Grace at 703-729-7044 or Carmen at 703-723-3724.
 
Broadlands Nature Program - 'Let Them Eat...Flowers.'  Saturday, July 18th at 10:00am, Broadlands Nature Center.  Did you know that you can eat hundreds of flowers? We're going to. Or, at least, we're going to plant piles of different flowers that are entirely grab-able for added salad romance. And yes, you can grab them. This is your Broadlands community food forest garden. Painting With a Twist, a local art studio, will be with us this Saturday to teach the short and tall how to paint flowers. Each person gets to take home their own canvas as we plant and sample edible flowers in our community gardens. For more information and to pre-pay for the event, visit www.broadlandshoa.org/community-events/.