Statement of Chairman on the Creation of the Phase II Tax District for Rail to Dulles

Oct. 9, 2009

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Today I am pleased to announce another major milestone for the construction of Rail to Dulles. A majority of landowners in the Western Dulles Corridor have voluntarily agreed to create a special tax district to pay for the construction of rail stations in the Reston and Herndon area. This tax district will provide $330 million in capital funding for the project. This will be a major economic boon for the County and the corridor, and will provide a much needed transit option for that part of the county. I‘d like to thank the landowners for having the vision and foresight to take this critical step despite these difficult economic times. I’d also like to thank Lee Fifer and the Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles for their leadership in bringing the private sector together to sign this petition.

When I first took office last February I made Rail to Dulles one of my top priorities. In the months since then we have seen the signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Government, this summer the Commonwealth secured its share of the funding, and construction began on Phase I of the project. Now we have secured funding for stations in the Western Corridor.

Major transportation projects are not an easy undertaking and are the culmination of years of effort. In concept this project began four decades ago with the construction of the Dulles Airport. Planning began in earnest under the leadership of Kate Hanley when she was Chairman of the Fairfax Board. Her successor Gerry Connolly moved funding and construction of Rail to Dulles onto the front burner and never gave up as the project encountered serious challenges.

We have much left to do and the project is far from complete. The next steps for creating a tax district are public hearings and approval by the Herndon Town Council and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Our Board hopes to hold those hearings in November and have formally adopted the district by the end of the year.

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