611 South Ivy Street
Arlington, Virginia 22204
October 4, 2012
Information sheet
Long Bridge Park flyer
Press Coverage:
October 3, 2012 -- "Civic Federation Endorses All 4 County Bond Referendums"
in Arlington Sun Gazette
Dear Friend:

Please VOTE YES for Arlington's Bond Issues on Tuesday, November 6.  Please vote yes to preserve our greenspace and improve our park system, to improve our road and expand METRO, and to support neighborhood conservation and public safety.

Every two years, Arlington's voters determine the county's future by considering a set of bond issues

On November 6, 2012, Arlington residents vote on four local bond referenda totaling $153.4 million.  These referenda include three County bond referenda and one Arlington Public Schools bond referendum. The four questions cover these areas:

1. Local Parks and Recreation - $50,553,000
2. Metro and Transportation     - $31,946,000
3. Community Infrastructure    - $28,306,000
4. Arlington Public Schools      - $42,620,000

The projects included in the four bond questions are described in the County’s ten-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) (PDF) and Arlington Public Schools’ CIP, adopted in July 2012.

This year, the County’s CIP expanded the planning horizon from six years to ten years, allowing for better planning and financing of multi-year projects and associated lifecycle costs, and providing better linkages to the County’s various master plans. The plan primarily focuses on reinvesting in aging infrastructure and funding strategic transportation and recreation initiatives.  The CIP was guided by the County Board’s adopted financial and debt management policies to help ensure that the County maintains its Aaa/AAA/AAA bond ratings. 

is one of only 39 counties in the nation to receive AAA ratings from the three major rating agencies. These strong bond ratings allow the County to borrow at very low interest rates, resulting in lower costs to Arlington taxpayers.

If approved by the voters, proceeds from the bonds will be used to pay for the projects discussed below. 

1.  Parks and Recreation: $50,553,000

This program funds the design and construction of the Long Bridge Park Aquatics, Health and Fitness Facility and surrounding park.  Features include a 50-meter x 25-yard competition pool, teaching pool, family leisure pool, therapy pool and wet classrooms / partyrooms.  An indoor fitness area and community space will also be constructed, as well as surface parking, public art, and a variety of outdoor public spaces in the adjacent park.

Funding is also included for Parks Maintenance Capital and provides for recurring, systematic re-investment in existing facilities to insure efficient, safe, high quality park and recreation facilities.  In addition to maintenance capital, this category funds projects approved in the Park Master Plan such as the modernization of Quincy, Highview and Virginia Highlands parks.   These projects include the replacement of playground equipment and athletic fields, safety surfacing, landscaping, ADA accommodations, and other capital improvements.

The parks land acquisition and open space program is also included in this category.  The funding allows the County to support or expand recreational opportunities, protect or conserve existing open space, preserve unique land features, and/or provide additional green space in urban areas.

Parks & Recreation Projects:

Long Bridge Park (Aquatics, Fitness Center, and Design of Final Outdoor Phase) $42,500,000
Parks Modernization and Maintenance $  6,868,000
Land Acquisition and Open Space
Tyrol Hill Park
Total - Parks & Recreation Bond

2.  Transportation & Metro: $31,946,000  

Transportation: $17,346,000

The Transportation program provides funding for the Street Paving Program, WalkArlington, BikeArlington, Neighborhood Traffic Calming and projects leveraged with state and federal transportation match. 

Metro: $14,600,000

Arlington is one of seven jurisdictions funding the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) system. The County’s annual contribution supports WMATA’s ongoing Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  Arlington's support will fund the ongoing safety and maintenance of the WMATA transit system, facility and system upgrades to support future eight car train operations, the purchase of buses, support facilities, and new 7000 series railcars.

Transportation & METRO Projects:

Long Bridge Interchange
WALKArlington, BikeArlington, and Neighborhood Traffic Calming
Bridge Renovation
Match for State and Federal Projects and other
Total - Transportation Bond

3.  Community Infrastructure: $28,306,000

Neighborhood Conservation: $11,000,000

This program funds neighborhood infrastructure improvements that have been requested by neighborhoods and approved by the Board including: street improvements (such as sidewalk, curb and gutter, park improvements, street lighting and beautification. Proposed by civic associations, neighborhood Conservation projects are evaluated twice yearly by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, which then makes recommendations to the County Board for approval.

Public/Government Facilities: $3,831,000

This program funds the maintenance capital needs of public and government infrastructure.  During the lifecycle of a typical facility, roofs, mechanical, electrical and other systems and interior / exterior finishes require replacement or renewal to remain in good working order.  Projects generally extend the useful life of the facility, and may improve safety systems and energy efficiency. This program would provide the County with the financial flexibility to make the necessary investments at the right time without significant detrimental effects to other approved programs and projects. 

Information Technology / Public Safety: $13,475,000

This program funds the ConnectArlington and Intelligent Transportation System projects.  These projects will build out fiber optic infrastructure interconnecting County facilities and transportation infrastructure to enhance reliability and agility, and will accommodate future requirements.  These projects will also allow public safety to build a fully redundant network to enhance traffic and emergency / incident management. 

Community Infrastructure

Neighborhood Conservation
Facilities Maintenance Capital
North Side Salt Facility
Information Technology and Public Safety
Total - Community Infrastructure Bond

4.  Public Schools: $42,620,000    

The Schools’ capital proposal was developed after a review of the physical conditions at school facilities, an analysis of existing and future facility needs and project affordability. The 2012 bond will fund the design and construction of new elementary schools, facility additions and various School projects.   

Additional Information

Parks and Recreation

Arlington's population is anticipated to increase by 10% in the coming decade.  Arlington maintain its park facilities well, but some of the facilities are reaching the ends of their initial life cycles, and it's cheaper to maintain facilities timely or replace as needed rather than to defer maintenance, to avoid greater cost in the future.  Our parks are extensively used, especially evenings and weekends.

In the current economic environment, interest rates are at historic lows.  Arlington completed its 2010 bond issue sales at 2.7%.

Arlington is one of the most densely-populated counties in the nation. Over the last 30 years, Arlington's voters have recognized the importance of parks and open space for our growing, diverse population and have approved bond proposals to develop and maintain the county's parks and recreation facilities. These bond issues enabled Arlington to acquire land for nature centers, soccer fields, running and biking trails; to preserve historic sites such as Fort C.F. Smith; and to build facilities such as Thomas Jefferson Community Center and Barcroft Recreation Center.  Park bonds also helped to support public art and cultural activities, and to improve and enhance our existing parks. Arlington's triple-triple A bond rating means the lowest available municipal interest rates apply to Arlington's bond issues

From the CIP:

The Local Parks and Recreation capital improvement program consists of key projects and program elements that will provide for the construction of new park facilities and major upgrades or renovations of existing park facilities. The program represents an implementation plan and strategies based upon sound planning to ensure that capital funding is invested strategically for the benefit of the County and its residents.

The Local Parks and Recreation projects focus on completing or furthering parks that have Board-adopted park master plans or have undergone significant community planning efforts.  The FY2013 - FY2022 CIP contains funding to complete significant phases or final completion of several important projects including Long Bridge Park, Tyrol Hills Park, Four Mile Run Near-Stream Improvements and Mosaic Park. The ten-year CIP also includes funding for master planning, design and construction of new parks including several parks identified in the Crystal City Sector Plan, Jennie Dean Park, Glebe and Randolph Park and several neighborhood parks in the Ballston-Virginia Square area. The program also focuses on funding for four ongoing program elements: Parks Capital Maintenance Program, Synthetic Turf Program, Parks Land Acquisition and Open Space Program and Park Enhancement Grants Program.

The Parks Maintenance Capital Program provides for recurring, systematic reinvestment in existing outdoor facilities to insure efficient, safe, high quality park and recreation facilities.  The program funds the replacement or major renovation of different elements of outdoor park and recreation facility assets including athletic fields and courts, lighting, playgrounds, picnic shelters, restrooms, site amenities, trails, parking, and specialty facilities such as the skate park. The program also addresses accessibility, safety and storm water improvements that are complementary to renovating the assets.

The Synthetic Turf Program is largely focused on replacement of existing synthetic fields that are approaching the end of their useful life. At the end of 2013, the County will have twelve synthetic turf fields, including the three fields added in 2011 at Long Bridge Park, the County's first synthetic baseball diamond at Barcroft Park added in 2012 and the community field at Rocky Run Park which will be finished in 2013. The funding for FY2013-FY2022 also identifies the opportunity to convert four grass fields to synthetic turf.  Conversion costs involve installation of synthetic grass, in-fill underground drainage systems, lighting, and site amenities including site furnishings, pathways, landscaping and permanent or portable restrooms as needed. Due to the additional playability of synthetic grass fields, the new synthetic fields would be lighted so that they are available for evening play. 

The Parks and Land Acquistion and Open Space Program funds the acquisition of strategic parcels of park land. Potential acquisition sites are identified in the Public Spaces Master Plan and the Land Acquisition and Preservation Policy (anticipated adoption fall 2012).

The Park Enhancement Grant (PEG) Program enhances parks by providing citizen-initiated projects in a timely manner. The goal of this program is to enable Arlington residents to initiate small capital improvement and beautification projects for parks and recreation facilities in their respective neighborhoods. The PEG Program encourages community involvement and fosters pride by enabling creative improvements in parks and recreation facilities. Community-proposed projects are submitted annually to the Arlington County Park and Recreation Commission for review, who then recommends a list of projects to the County Board for final approval. The current individual project limit is $15,000. Since the program began in 1978, more than 240 projects have been funded. These include projects such as park furniture, pathways, fencing, public art, educational and interpretive signage as well as sports and building amenities.

Transportation and Metro:

From the CIP:

Transportation: The FY 2013-2022 Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) represents a balanced program of transportation projects that continues Arlington County’s commitment to developing, maintaining and managing a multimodal transportation system that emphasizes travel choice and equal access for all users. Over the next ten years, Arlington plans to invest over $981 million in a range of capital improvements that seek to enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of its residents, workers, and visitors. The CIP program was developed using a prioritization process that reflects the goals and objectives set forth in Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan and other County planning efforts. The first six years of the current proposed CIP total $798.2 million, compared to a six-year program in the prior CIP totaling $387.8 million. The increase is due to primarily to increased and accelerated streetcar costs as well as inclusion of projects that are currently underway.

The centerpiece of the current Transportation CIP is the inclusion of streetcars in the Route 1 and Columbia Pike areas of the County. These are a continuation of community building in the County, which began approximately 50 years ago with the planning and development of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. While providing funding for two streetcars, the proposed CIP strives to provide a balanced program that also includes funding for bus transit, the County-wide Fiber Project, Metro station access improvements, bridge maintenance and major rebuilds, parking enhancements, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, street lights and signals, and parking meters. For the first time, the paving program is included in the transportation section of the CIP. (In past years, this program was included in General Government Maintenance Capital.)

Funding for the transportation CIP program activities comes from a balance of state and federal sources and is supplemented by local sources. The two primary sources of local revenues for this program are the Transportation Capital Fund (TCF) (formerly known as the Transportation Investment Fund) and Crystal City, Potomac Yard, Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The TCF has been the primary source of funding for the transportation program since it was adopted by the County Board in 2008. It is funded by an additional real estate tax on industrial and commercial properties for transportation initiatives; the rate is currently set at $0.125 per $100 of assessed value. Based on current cashflow projections, the plan assumes issuance in FY 2014 of revenue bonds supported by the TCF to pay for Columbia Pike street improvements and streetcar.

In 2010, the County Board established the Crystal City, Potomac Yard, Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area. Incremental growth in property tax revenues in the TIF area are directed to this fund to be invested in public infrastructure improvements that support the Crystal City Sector Plan. This revenue source is intended to supplement local Transportation Capital Funds, private investment and state and federal sources. The amount of annual tax revenue for the TIF fund is determined using the January 1, 2011 TIF area total assessment value ($9.8 billion) as the baseline. Then, in each subsequent year, the assessment growth relative to the base is determined, and a portion (currently 33 percent) of the resulting tax revenue is segregated into the TIF fund. Beginning in FY 2015, revenues from the TIF are planned to be leveraged with revenue bonds in support of the planned Route 1 Corridor streetcar.

The CIP provides information on individual projects and an estimate of required funding. This program structure offers maximum programming flexibility, enabling the County to adapt project priorities to fluctuations in available state and federal dollars. As noted earlier, the program also prioritizes significant projects like the Columbia Pike Streets and Streetcar and Crystal City Streets and Route 1 Corridor Streetcar, while providing ongoing funding for critical transit, complete streets, and local initiatives that enhance the community.

Metro: The proposed six year Metro capital program is mainly focused on the critical state of good repair investments, including:

  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations
  • Replacement of the 1000 series rail cars
  • Rehabilitation of oldest segments of the rail system
  • Replacement and rehabilitation of aging elevators and escalators
  • Extension / enhancement projects are limited, but will include the addition of service on the Silver Line beginning in FY14. The Metro Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is responsible for funding for the initial design and construction of this new section. WMATA will be responsible for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Silver Line once revenue service begins. Program Summary

    The goal of this project is to support, through annual contributions, Metro’s rehabilitation, modernization and expansion of the rail and bus infrastructure to better meet mass transportation needs throughout the metropolitan region. WMATA's Proposed FY13 - FY18 Capital Funding Agreement consists of $5.1 billion of critical system projects necessary to maintain the MetroBus, MetroRail and MetroAccess systems over the next six years. The program is heavily focused on replacement / rehab of the system’s oldest infrastructure with minimal service enhancement investments. WMATA has previously identified close to $11 billion of needs over a ten year period; the proposed six year program reflects a constrained request in light of financial constraints for Metro and its contributing jurisdictions. It should be noted that this program includes $1.5 billion in dedicated federal funding over 10 years, subject to a $1.5 billion match by Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. WMATA finalized the Capital Funding Agreement for FY 2011 - FY 2016 in July, 2010. Arlington’s base share of the six-year program was $80 million, with the potential for an increase in jurisdictional contributions based on annual updates to the Agreement. Subsequent CIP’s are adopted annually based on the original Capital Funding Agreement.

    What You Can Do

    Thank you for your support!
    Alan Howze (703-258-2608)
    Jay Jacob Wind (703-505-3567)

    Elected officials:
    County Board members Libby Garvey, Mary Hynes, Jay Fisette, Walter Tejada, and Chris Zimmerman; School Board member Sally Baird, Todd McCracken, Emma Violand Sanchez; State Delegates Bob Brink and Patrick Hope
    Arlington residents: Rob Abbot, Gaston Araoz, Steve Baker, Mathew Barnes, Jane Bergen, Les Bergen, Mark Blacknell, Paul Carver, Eric Cassel (Parks Bond), Judy Connolly, Tom Connolly, Jean Crawford, Aimee Dawson, Craig Esherick, Peter Fallon, Madi Green, Mark Habeeb, Craig Hines, Paul Holland, Alan Howze, Pam Howze, Carrie Johnson, Kip Malinosky, Maureen Markham, Joan McDermott, Kris McLaughlin, John Milliken, Fred Mittelman, Jody Olson, Peter Owen, Joe Pelton, Robert Platt, Michael Raizen, Bree Raum, Edmund Rennolds, Susan Robinson, Doug Ross, Ann Rudd, Jason Rylander, Terry Serie, Noah Simon, George Towner, David Van Wagner, Sue Walton, Mary Margaret Whipple, Keith Whyte, Jay Jacob Wind
    Organizations: Arlington County Civic Federation, Arlington County Democratic Committee, Friends of Long Bridge Park, Potomac Valley Track Club

    Please send to VOTE YES FOR PARKS
    611 South Ivy Street · Arlington, Virginia 22204
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    Previous bond issues:
  • $50,553,000 in 2012 (read more)
  • $5,975,000 in 2010 (read more)
  • No 2008 Bond Issue for parks and recreation in 2008 (read more)
  • $35,550,000 in 2006 (read more)
  • $75,250,000 in 2004 (read more)
  • $20,500,000 in 2002 (read more)
  • $25,875,000 in 2000
  • $17,055,000 in 1998
  • $12,920,000 in 1996
  • $13,865,000 in 1994
  • $11,870,000 in 1992
  • $4,220,000 in 1990
  • $3,900,000 in 1988
  • $4,895,000 in 1986
  • $4,035,000 in 1984
  • (Source for 1984-2004)
  • Complete bond-issue results 1972-2014 for Arlington County