An article in some of yesterday's editions incorrectly said Fairfax County Supervisor James M. Scott agreed with a characterization of a planned public hearing on a sewer financing plan as a "sham." That characterization was made by Supervisor Audrey Moore.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously early today to ask voters to approve a $134.4 million road bond issue in a referendum this fall.
If approved, the bond issue will be the largest in the county's history and will be used to pay for two segments of the long-planned cross-county Springfield Bypass, as well as 12 other major road projects designed to ease commuter traffic.
The vote, which came minutes after midnight, marks a milestone in what officials have called a historic move by Fairfax to take over, in large measure, the road-building responsibilities handled by the state since the Depression.
"This package focuses on . . . unmet and critical needs for which funds are not available from other sources," said Board Chairman John F. Herrity, a leading proponent of the bond proposal.
County politicians are already planning a major lobbying effort for the fall in the hope of ensuring voter approval of the bonds.
During a 4 1/2-hour public hearing that preceded the vote, nearly 100 speakers expressed sharply opposing views on the road bonds.
Many from the southeastern section of the county -- which includes some of its oldest neighborhoods as well as Huntley Meadows, a 1,200-acre park and wetland preserve -- complained of severe traffic jams and urged the board to endorse the bond issue.
Environmentalists, however, charged that one of the road projects -- a $13.2 million extension of S. Van Dorn Street from Telegraph Road to Rte. 1 through Huntley Meadows -- would critically damage the county's largest park and one of the few natural wetlands remaining in this region.
In earlier action yesterday, the board rejected the pleas of Annandale Supervisor Audrey Moore and decided to borrow $179 million to expand two sewage treatment plants without seeking voter approval.
The board voted 8 to 1 to finance the two sewer projects through revenue bonds, which do not require a referendum.
The vote came after a sometimes acrimonious two-hour debate touched off by Moore, a maverick Democrat, who accused the board and its advisers of "razzle-dazzle finances."
Moore declared that she was "taking on the world," but she failed to gain any support for her proposal that the county issue general obligation bonds for the expansion. That would have required a referendum in the fall elections.
Sewers and the development they bring have frequently been the subject of rancorous debate in fast-growing Fairfax, as slow-growth forces have sought to block sewer plant expansions.
Most supervisors said yesterday that revenue bonds are a fair means of financing the sewer projects because they force developers and new homeowners to pay off the county's debt through sewer connection fees.
Herrity said he would raise sewer hook-up fees -- currently $2,500 apiece -- if necessary to pay for the county's borrowing.
Moore rejoined: "The basic issue is when you're talking about $179 million in debt, you ought to ask the voters about it," she said. "We're elected, we're not anointed."
General obligation bonds are paid off by county taxes while revenue bonds are paid off from the revenues -- in this case sewerage fees -- of the projects they finance. General obligation bonds usually carry lower interest rates because they are backed by the "full faith and credit" of the issuing government.
In other actions, the board yesterday voted:
* To study quicker enforcement of zoning violations;
* To seek a staff appraisal of the proposed Outer Beltway, which would sweep through the counties west of Fairfax;
* To request an update on the 193-acre Manchester Lakes project, which was taken over by a bank late last year after its principal developer began bankruptcy proceedings.