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2012 Park Bond


2012 Park Bond

7/30/12 Public Comment Meeting Presentation


7/30/12 Public Comment Meeting Summary

2012 Park Bond At-A-Glance

To have a presentation made to your community organization, HOA or other civic group, please send an email to Parkmail.

The Fairfax County Park Authority administers 23,194 acres of parkland and 420 parks. These include parks which provide countywide services including golf, camping, ice skating, skate parks, boating, stream valley corridors, trails, equestrian facilities, natural resource areas and open space, historic and cultural resource treasures, archaeological sites and lakefront parks. The Park Authority also offers District parks providing diversified and specialized area-wide services such as ball field complexes, RECenters, sport courts, off-leash dog exercise areas, and neighborhood facilities such as playgrounds, multi-use courts and picnic areas.

2012 Bond To support park operating costs, the Park Authority charges user fees for the use of certain park facilities such as RECenters and golf courses, as well as other facilities not funded by general taxes. Park fees cover approximately 60% of all park operating costs. The remaining operating funds are appropriated by the Board of Supervisors from the County’s General Fund derived from taxpayer contributions. However, fees do not cover the cost for development of new facilities or major renovations at existing facilities. These improvements are funded primarily through general obligation bonds.

The Park Authority, like other public agencies, faces the challenge of updating aging facilities while providing new facilities to meet the park and recreation demands of residents. To accomplish this, a schedule of capital project needs is maintained and general obligation bonds are used for funding. Bonds ensure that current users are not burdened with the full cost of improvements. Projects are completed more quickly and the bonds spread the costs over an extended period of time.

The completion of a Needs Assessment in 2004 identifying citizen demand, leisure trends and population growth resulted in the development of a ten-year Park Capital Improvement Plan. That assessment initially identified $376 million in capital needs including land acquisition, new facilities and renovations. Since that initial assessment, more than $155 million of this need has been funded through general obligation bonds. Unfunded capital needs as of 2012 are estimated at $280 million when adjusted for inflation. A new Needs Assessment is currently underway and will help guide the Park Authority over the next decade.

The currently proposed bond program will include the following categorical allocations: Fairfax County Park Authority General Obligation Bonds
2012 Park Bond Allocations History of Park Bonds

Using the Needs Assessment ten-year capital plan, facility condition assessments, park master plans and stakeholder input as tools for project selection, the allocation of the proposed 2012 park bond would fall into several categories: stewardship and land acquisition, existing facility renovations, community parks/new facilities and facility expansion. The project list balances priority needs, reinvestment in aging facilities, investments in land, natural and cultural resource protection, advancement of phased projects and improving the park experience. If approved, the bonds will be spent in accordance with the bond referendum question posed to the voters. While specific projects may be modified or changed, and bond funds may be reallocated to other capital improvements, the currently proposed program will include the following categorical allocations:

LAND ACQUISITION AND STEWARDSHIP $12,915,000

The land acquisition program targets sites that meet established criteria adopted by the Park Authority Board and address areas of high deficiency, adjacency to existing parkland in order to expand recreational opportunities, as well as land which protects significant natural and cultural resources. This bond provides funding countywide for the purchase of parkland as approved by the Park Authority Board in the Land Acquisition Work Plan.

Stewardship includes capital projects that promote the protection, enhancement, interpretation and education of natural and cultural park resources. At Colvin Run Mill, restoration of the miller’s house to its period of significance is planned. Funding is also provided to renovate the tenant house at Historic Huntley, to provide wayfinding signage at Historic Centreville and Sully Woodlands, and to build a shelter at Hidden Pond Nature Center. An environmental education center is also planned in Sully Woodlands.

Other stewardship initiatives include restoration measures for forested areas, meadow management, invasive plant control and boundary-marking activities in support of other capital projects.

COMMUNITY PARKS/NEW FACILITIES $7,285,000

A wide array of park and recreational facilities is included in this category such as the first phase of improvements at Monticello Park, Hartland Road Park and White Gardens and continued phased development at Laurel Hill Park and Patriot Park. Countywide improvements in park signage and funding of the popular Mastenbrook Matching Grant program are also included.

FACILITY EXPANSION $19,497,500

An expansion to Spring Hill RECenter features new fitness space, renovations to the locker rooms, the addition of multi-purpose activity rooms and a new gym area. Twin Lakes Golf Course would expand its Oak Room facility to increase capacity for tournaments and an events pavilion would be built at Greendale Golf Course. Oak Marr RECenter would be expanded featuring new fitness spaces and improved facility flow. Additional features at The Water Mine at Lake Fairfax would be added to enhance the visitor experience and increase capacity.

EXISTING FACILITY RENOVATION $23,302,500

Renovations of existing facilities include paving of a portion of the Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park. An outlay of $2.2 million would fund trails upgrades and connections to the park trail network throughout the County. Lake Accotink Park would receive infrastructure improvements worth more than $1 million. Another $1 million would fund the replacement of playground equipment at parks throughout the County. A fully accessible carousel would be added to enhance the visitor experience to Chessie’s Big Back Yard Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park. Energy savings improvements will continue to be implemented throughout the park system increasing efficiency.

Various existing athletic field improvements such as conversion to synthetic turf, field upgrades and lighting improvements would be funded for existing athletic fields at Rolling Valley West, Arrowhead, Ellanor C. Lawrence, Langley Fork, Pine Ridge, McNaughton and Grist Mill parks adding capacity and playability for a growing number of sport teams. Athletic field capacity will be expanded by taking advantage of partnerships with the community to develop synthetic turf fields in the South Lakes area of Reston.

Irrigation, cart path and drainage improvements at Pinecrest, Greendale and Jefferson Golf courses would be funded as well as improvements to the driving ranges at Oak Marr and Burke Lake Golf Courses.

2012 Park Bond

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