Plan prioritizes Metro, Schools and maintenance of existing core infrastructure; seeks $141 million bond referendum this fall
This post has been updated with links to resources from the Manager’s May 22 presentation.
Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz today presented his proposed FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to the Arlington County Board. The proposal outlines nearly $2.8 billion in investments for parks, transportation, community facilities, water and sewer infrastructure and more over the next decade.
Amid lower-than-expected tax revenues and increased obligations to Metro under a new regional funding agreement, the Manager’s proposal focuses on funding Metro, the County’s adopted Transit Development Plan, and Arlington Public Schools, prioritizes maintenance and state of good repair of existing public assets, and follows through on existing near-term commitments, including completion of Fire Station 8, Jennie Dean Park, Rosslyn Highlands Park, Lubber Run Community Center and Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Facility.
The proposal also provides funding for street paving, park and trail maintenance, streetlights, and pedestrian improvements—all identified as top community needs by more than 3,000 Arlingtonians who shared their investment priorities with the Manager earlier this year.
Some projects that had been included in previous CIPs will see reduced funding or be deferred, some indefinitely. The biggest changes will come in transportation, as the new regional funding agreement redirects significant revenues away from local transportation projects. Other scaled back investments include Buck and Carlin Springs property redevelopment, renovation of the County’s Courts/Police building, land acquisition for new parks, and Neighborhood Conservation funding.
“We’re facing a tougher financial situation this year than we have in the past,” Schwartz said. “The CIP I am proposing allows us to do more for Metro, Schools and core infrastructure but asks us to pause on some of the investments that we had previously been planning. I am confident that this approach will put us on a stronger footing as we continue in a time of financial uncertainty.”
Proposed 2018 Bond Referenda
In his proposal, the Manager is seeking $141 million in new bonds over the next two years to pay for many of the improvements planned in the CIP. The bond request will be put to Arlington County voters in a referendum this fall, pending review and approval by the County Board. The following items are proposed to be included:
- Metro and Transportation – $75 million
- To meet Arlington’s obligation to Metro and fund street paving, streetlight maintenance, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and more
- Parks and Recreation – $29 million
- To fund Jennie Dean Park and Rosslyn Highlands Park and maintain park facilities and trails
- Public/Government Facilities – $32 million
- Including Fire Station 8 replacement and ongoing maintenance of existing facilities
- Community Conservation – $5.2 million
- To fund Neighborhood Conservation (at a reduced rate) and provide final funding for completion of Nauck Town Square
Arlington Public Schools will also seek the public’s approval for bond funding to support school maintenance and construction projects. Learn more about the Superintendent’s proposed CIP.
In today’s presentation, Schwartz announced that for the 18th year in a row all three credit ratings agencies have reaffirmed Arlington’s Aaa/AAA/AAA debt rating, which is the highest possible rating and allows the County to finance capital improvements at the lowest possible interest rates.
Public Process & Key Dates
The public will have several ways to learn more about and weigh in on the Manager’s proposed FY 2019-2028 CIP over the next two months before the Board adopts the final CIP in July:
- May 22: Manager presents proposed CIP to County Board
- May 29-June 26: County Board work sessions with program staff
- May 30: Manager kicks off public feedback with a Virtual Town Hall
- May 30-June 29: Public feedback accepted online, or by email or letter
- June 27: Public hearing with the County Board
- July 10: Final mark-up by County Board
- July 14: Board adoption of final CIP
See the full calendar of key dates with links to more information at budget.arlingtonva.us/CIP.