in brief

Fairfax County briefs

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Foreclosure program adjusted

Fairfax County officials are tweaking a foreclosure purchase program after seeing declining results as the real estate market picks up.

The county Board of Supervisors approved the program, known as Silver Lining, in March 2008. The idea was for the county to buy foreclosed properties and allow nonprofit groups or qualified first-time homebuyers to purchase them. The original goals were to stabilize neighborhoods with high numbers of foreclosures and to provide affordable housing opportunities. The program was later expanded to allow nonprofits to use the funds to rehabilitate properties for use in subsidized rental programs.

As the county housing market has begun to improve, there are fewer foreclosures on the market and prices are starting to increase. Groups also are competing with investors who are able to pay cash for the properties.

Last week, the county adopted guidelines that raise the maximum purchase price to $417,000 and increase the flexibility of what types of houses can be bought. County housing staffers are hoping the flexibility will allow Fairfax to allocate the remaining funding for the program by the Sept. 10 deadline.

The program originally received $2.8 million in federal funding and $1 million from the state. So far, the county has expended about 20 percent of the federal funds to buy or renovate 22 properties and has not spent any of the state money. There are five additional projects in the pipeline.

Woodglen Lake dam repairs

Fairfax County is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District to complete repairs to the Woodglen Lake dam in Fairfax.

A four-month repair project is slated to begin this month to rehabilitate and strengthen the dam's auxiliary spillway. The dam provides flood protection for more than 150 houses and businesses, according to county officials.

Most of the project funding, $1.45 million, is being provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Fairfax County is chipping in the remaining $600,000.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) and Supervisor John C. Cook (R-Braddock) are hosting a community celebration at 1 p.m. May 15 to mark the start of the dam rehabilitation project. The event will be at Woodglen Lake Park in Fairfax.

Fox Mill speeders targeted

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved placing signs warning of $200 additional fine for speeding along the segment of Fox Mill Road between Lawyers Road in Reston and Waples Mill Road in Fairfax.

The maximum fine for speeding in a residential zone is $200. The county allows the placement of the signs once traffic engineers confirm that a community has a problem with speeding. The signs cost about $500.

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