The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided yesterday to ask county voters for permission to sell more than $63 million in bonds to pay for a wide range of construction and renovation projects.
Among the five bond issues, which voters will face on the November ballot, are proposals for $8.6 million to renovate and expand the county jail, $12.3 million for new curbs and gutters, $12.1million for storm drainage improvements, $10.4 million for new public libraries, and $19.7 million for new police and fire facilities and renovation of the county courthouse.
If the referendum package passes, construction of the projects is planned for the next five years.
Despite polls showing marked conservatism among voters, supervisors said they were hopeful the bond issues will be approved. "These facilities all will benefit the general public," said board vice chairman Martha V. Pennino (D-Centreville). "If we go by the bonded route, the people who use them in the future will have to pay for them.
Board Chairman John F. Herrity (R) emphasized that approval of the referendums would not result in an increase in real estate taxes. "I don't plan to support a tax rate increase this year, the year after, the year after or any year I can think of," he said.
The referendum package approved by the board amounted to about $3 million more than that recommended by the county's citizen task force, which had urged dropping a proposal for a new police station in the Reston area.
Board members engaged in some good-natured jolting over the positioning of the proposals on the November ballot, after hearing from staff members that those measures placed near the top of the ballot generally have a better chance of passage. Supervisor Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield) succeeded in placing the jail referendumnext to the name of Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, with library measure sharing the same line with Democratic nominee.
The $8.6 million jail proposal, which would almost double the number of cells in the county jail, proved controversial at public hearings. Although most speakers agreed that the present jail is woefully overcrowded, they differed widely on the best way to solvethe problem. The proposal on the ballot would add 164 secure cells, 30 work-release cells and a recreational facility to the two-year-old jail.