Another Controversial Arlington County Project?
The Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey reports this morning, according to the headline, that "Opponents could mount ballot fight against fire-station relocation."
McCaffrey goes on to report:
"Opponents of the controversial proposal to relocate Arlington’s Fire Station #8 may have come up with a way to stop it – using the ballot box.
"At a July 30 community forum where county fire officials affirmed their desire to move the station from Lee Highway about a mile north to Old Dominion Drive, one critic reminded the audience that while funds to plan the station’s move are in the government’s hands, those for construction costs are not yet available.
"Arlington officials could place funds for the $12 million project on a public-safety bond referendum that will go to voters in November 2016. If that is the case, those opposed to moving the fire station out of the Hall’s Hill neighborhood could mobilize to try and defeat the bond.
"Odds would be long: Arlington voters have not turned down any county bond referendum since 1979, and most referendums pass with 75 percent or more of the vote."
McCaffrey also reported:
"The Arlington County Republican Committee in mid-July affirmed a resolution calling on the county government to carve any project valued at more than $25 million to its own individual referendum. But even if such a policy were to be adopted, it might not apply to the fire station; officials estimate construction costs for a new station at $12 million, although adding in a new headquarters for the Office of Emergency Management could push the total cost closer to the $25 million threshold."
One Arlington County taxpayer who attended last night's meeting reports that at least 300 citizens attended, and filled almost the entire gym.
Arlington County has set-up a webpage for "Fire Station #8 Future Location." Included are a fact sheet, maps, an ongoing list of questions and answers, meeting materials, and response time data. The third meeting is currently scheduled for September 9, 2015 at Yorktown High School. Be sure to sign-up for the e-mail alerts, though.
Growls readers who are Arlington County taxpayers concerned about the relocation of Fire Station #8 are urged to write or call the Arlington County Board. Just click-on the link below:
- Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.
And tell them ACTA sent you!
UPDATE (8/2/15): The Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey posted a second story regarding the relocation of fire station #8 with a headline saying, "Many in Hall’s Hill still disillusioned with plan to move Arlington fire station." Here's the first several paragraphs although the entire article should be read:
"Another heavily-attended community meeting left most attendees still angry over both a proposal to move Fire Station #8 out of the Hall’s Hill neighborhood, and the community-engagement process surrounding the plan.
"“Pitting communities against one another? That seems like an old tactic from 60 years ago,” said Marguarite Reed Gooden, among those leading opposition to the proposed station move.
"Gooden was among about 150 people who descended on Langston-Brown Community Center in the heart of the historically black Hall’s Hill community July 30, as county officials again tried to explain their reasons for proposing to move the station from their neighborhood.
"County officials say the process remains open and no decision has been made, but many residents are convinced that is not the case.
“Is this a done deal?” asked Frank Wilson, a neighborhood resident and the longest serving School Board member in county history."