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New CIP "Seeks No Additional Funds for Aquatics Center"

The Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey continues flushing out details of the County Manager's proposed FY 2017 -- 2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) today. According to McCaffrey:

"Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz fulfilled a pledge on the Long Bridge Park aquatics center, saying the project can be completed without going to voters for a third round of funding.

“We’re not requesting any additional resources” and should be able to move the project forward with funds already approved in referendums, Schwartz told County Board members on May 17, opting not to include a request for additional cash in his 10-year capital-improvement plan.

"Schwartz in April proposed a 73,000-square-foot aquatics complex – down from 116,000 square feet – that would cost $40 million to $44 million to build (not including design, project-management and contingency fees). He was following up on a March 2015 County Board directive, calling for staff to revisit the aquatics-center concept after it had been put on hold by then-County Manager Barbara Donnellan.

"In 2004, county voters approved bond funding for the entire Long Bridge Park complex in Crystal City, but higher-than-anticipated costs, and a more grandiose concept of what the facility should be, led government leaders to put more funding for the facility on a 2012 park bond.

"Voters approved the 2012 bond, but sent a warning shot over the bow: Its margin of victory – 63 percent – was about 20 percentage points lower than for several other bonds on the 2012 ballot, including those for schools and Metro.

"From there, things got worse for the effort to build the facility. Estimated costs both for construction and operation ballooned, and the aquatics center joined Artisphere, the Columbia Pike streetcar system and “million-dollar” bus stops as symbols of the Arlington government’s capital-spending overreach."

Scroll down to yesterday's Growls where we embedded links to make it easier to access such source documents as the county's press release; the CIP, and the Manager's PowerPoint presentation of the CIP to the Arlington County Board.

Growls readers are urged to write to members of the Arlington County Board to voice concerns about the proposed FY 2017 -- 2026 Capital Improvement Plan. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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