This action allows the county to petition the Fairfax Circuit Court to order the referendum. If ordered, it will be on the Nov. 6, 2018, general election ballot. Under state law, the county must petition the court to put the referendum on the ballot.
Voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on the public safety bond question. If ultimately approved, the county plans to sell $182 million in general obligation bonds to renovate, expand or replace fire, police, sheriff and court facilities.
Fire and Rescue Department ($73 million)
Renovate, expand or replace four fire stations that are 37 years old or older:
- Mount Vernon ($16 million).
- Fairview ($16 million).
- Gunston ($13 million).
- Seven Corners ($13 million).
Additionally, $15 million will be used to renovate, expand or replace one of the eight remaining volunteer fire stations that are approximately 40 years old or older.
Police Department ($59 million)
Renovate, expand or replace:
- Mason District Station ($23 million): Renovate and build a minor expansion this station, which was built in 1975, to upgrade its building systems and infrastructure.
- Criminal Justice Academy ($18 million): Renovate and upgrade this facility that trains 2,300 police and sheriff’s recruits, officers and deputies per year.
- Police Evidence Storage Building ($18 million): Renovate, expand or replace this building that is used to store critical evidence for court.
Courts and Adult Detention Center ($50 million)
- Adult Detention Center ($45 million): Replace major building systems in all three wings of the detention center, including plumbing, electrical, HVAC and fire protection systems.
- Fairfax Courthouse ($5 million): Make required improvements in courtrooms, including lighting, ductwork realignment, ADA upgrades, wall and ceiling replacements and technology upgrades.
By law, the money from the bonds may only be used for the purpose stated in the ballot question. For example, the money from the public safety bonds may not be used to pay for park projects.
Fairfax County has the highest credit rating possible for any government: triple-A from Moody’s Investors Service Inc.; from Standard & Poor’s Corporation; and from Fitch Ratings. As of January 2018, Fairfax County is one of only 12 states, 46 counties and 32 cities to hold a triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies.
For this reason, Fairfax County’s bonds sell at relatively low interest rates compared to other tax-free bonds. The county has saved taxpayers more than $772 million since 1978 as a result of these low rates.
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