Fairfax County

The following were among actions taken at the Oct. 5 meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. For more information, call 691-3151.

CABLE TV RATES -- Responding to a cable television rate increase of approximately 17 percent announced last week by Media General Cable of Fairfax, the board voted unanimously to ask the county's state legislative delegation and members of U.S. Congress to seek laws curtailing such rate hikes.

"I think this is an absolute insult and injury to the people who live in Fairfax County," said Supervisor Nancy Falck (R-Dranesville) of the rate increases. She said the new increase, on top of ones announced earlier this year, would result in a 38 percent increase over 12 months for most Fairfax County subscribers.

Under a December 1982 franchise agreement between Media General and the county, she said, the company was to have kept its rates stable for four years, then increase them by the rate of increase of the federal government's Consumer Price Index, which was about 4.5 percent last year. But federal deregulation of the cable television industry has voided local government controls on cable rates, allowing the company greater increases.

Falck urged the county to press lawmakers to give back some control to local governments. Supervisor Katherine Hanley (D-Providence) noted that rate increases varied for different levels of service, but said the basic service, often used by the least wealthy subscribers, had undergone the largest increase.

TRUCK RESTRICTIONS -- The council unanimously voted to establish a committee to investigate ways of banning through truck traffic on residential streets and possibly the planned Springfield bypass.

Noting the Virginia Department of Transportation has almost never approved local requests to ban through truck traffic on Fairfax County roads, Board Chairman John Herrity proposed establishing a citizens' committee that would within 10 days recommend changes in the state rules used to decide the through truck bans.

Herrity said the state now considers, in its truck banning decisions, factors such as the number of trucks using a street and the percentage of traffic trucks constitute on a street. He urged consideration of other factors, such as whether trucks transport hazardous cargo like petroleum through residential neighborhoods and the size and number of axles of through trucks.

Under present procedures, the state will not ban through trucks on roads like the bypass that have not yet been built, Herrity said, because statistics on truck use cannot be collected until the roads are opened.

"The criteria are very strict," said Supervisor Joseph Alexander (D-Lee). "At least this is an attempt to do something with it."

SCHOOL RADON TESTING -- The board voted unanimously to ask the Fairfax County School Board for further studies of radon levels in schools, and to report to the supervisors on the amount of radon found and measures to remove it.

Testing by the school system since last summer revealed potentially dangerous radon levels at some schools, although not enough to pose an immediate threat under Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Retesting found reduced radon levels at many of the affected buildings, but said Supervisor Audrey Moore (D-Annandale), "Where we're talking about children, I don't think even a slight risk is acceptable."