County Fund Increase Expected
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors learned last week that based on an increase in revenues expected from higher property tax assessments, the county could receive between $7.7 million and $8.8 million in additional funds in the 1986-87 fiscal year. Although some supervisors expressed hope that the new monies would enable the county to lower the tax rate, currently $1.13 per $100 of assessed value, to 97 cents, officials told the board that increased operating costs would prevent that. All homes in Loudoun County were reassessed last year and the increase per house averages about 12 percent. A homeowner's tax bill on a $100,000 house would increase by $22.50 a month. Leesburg Asked to Delay Plan
The Board of Supervisors approved a resolution last week that asked the town of Leesburg to delay acting on its land use plan, slated for action at the town council meeting this week, to give the board more time to clarify the question of who will provide water and sewer service to Xerox's Potomac Park development west of Goose Creek. There are two agreements on the books that contradict each other, officials said. The area in question is outside Leesburg town limits but is within the area covered by the town's management plan. County attorney Edward Finnegan has requested that the three-judge annexation court recently reconvened to resolve the issue meet no sooner than April 29 to give the county time to prepare for it properly.
In other business, the town hopes to expand town hall facilities, build an underground parking garage and bring the police department back downtown by 1990, according to Leesburg Planning Director Martha Semmes. The plan will be presented to the planning commission this week as part of capital projects documents. Its cost is estimated at $5 million, $3 million of which will pay for the much needed parking garage. Leesburg's recent development spurt has left the town seriously short of parking space, a frequent complaint of residents and the downtown business association. The money for the design work is in the budget for the 1986-87 fiscal year, and the town may have a design competition for the project, Semmes said. Police headquarters recently moved to rented facilities on Fort Evans Road because town offices were overcrowded. The move caused business people to express concern about shoplifting, especially during the upcoming tourist season when the presence of the downtown headquarters could help control it, they said. In response, Police Chief James Kidwell ordered a police officer to walk the downtown beat during certain times of the day. Spaith Declines Hillsboro Reelection Bid
Hillsboro Mayor Alexandra Spaith said last week that she will not seek reelection as mayor for "personal reasons." Spaith said she thinks "everyone in town should serve as mayor at least once." According to council member Evelyn Turbeville, herself a former mayor, a group of officials and residents will urge council member Randall Allen to run for the position. Candidates in towns with more than 1,500 registered voters must present at least 125 signatures on a petition declaring their candidacy. The decision to run for office in Hillsboro is a simpler one; there are only 125 residents in the town. Turbeville, who as Virginia's first female mayor 15 years ago refused to ride in Winchester's Apple Blossom Parade with several other mayors "because she didn't want to ruin -- or listen to -- the men's jokes," says she will not run for council again. "I think after 15 years Hillsboro voters should be tired of me." Purcellville Library Contract Awarded
The design contract for the Purcellville Library addition was recently awarded to Kamstra, Dickerson Associates for $48,000 and negotiations are under way, officials said. County Attorney Edward Finnegan told the board last week the circuit court has declared the county co-owner of the land on which the library sits. This will allow design and construction plans to go forward, he said. Without the court order, the county, which owns the library but not the land, could not have expanded the facility.
Town Manager William Dennis said last week that the four beavers who had built a dam in the Purcellville reservoir have been trapped and killed. The beavers had to be removed, state health department officials told Mayor Ron Masters, because they carry parasites that are harmful to humans. "The county game warden wanted us to shoot them but we didn't want blood in the water," Masters said. Although town officials preferred to trap the beavers alive and remove them, no one wanted them, Masters said. "They would just go someplace else and build a dam. They're destructive. We had to do what we did." Although getting rid of the animals was necessary, Dennis said, "Everybody is sure that there will be others." After November's floods washed away the dams and homes of many Loudoun County beavers, they have been showing up in several areas where they are unwelcome, he said. Round Hill Town House Law Prepared
Round Hill officials are nearing completion of work they've been doing on a town house ordinance for the last 18 months, according to Mayor Jeff Wolford. Although Round Hill has no town houses yet, the need for residential development in Loudoun is fast encroaching on the county's western towns and most all are preparing for it. "We are looking at other town house developments and checking the ordinances of other jurisdictions to see how its done before we write ours." Middleburg Hearing Uneventful
A public hearing last week on Middleburg's comprehensive plan was sparsely attended and very quiet, according to Town Manager Gerard Rogers. "After the attendance we had last year on development issues, we didn't know what to expect," he said. "It was a pleasant surprise." Last year Middleburg officials saw a temporary surge of attendance at Town Council meetings when notices appeared around town saying "Middleburg is for sale." The concern was that certain types of high-density residential development were being considered on a large parcel near Middleburg's outskirts. No proposals have been received regarding that parcel, officials have assured concerned residents.