Loudoun County

The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 18 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. For more information, call 771-5072.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES CONTRACT -- The board approved a contract with Every Citizen Has an Opportunity (ECHO) to provide vocational training and employment for mentally retarded adults. The three-year contract calls for the county to spend $635,304 in the first year to help an estimated 46 retarded adults, and for the budget in the second and third years to remain negotiable.

The county has contracted in recent years with ECHO, a nonprofit organization based in Purcellville, which last year provided 56 mentally retarded adults with training and employment at ECHO and elsewhere in the community. This contract, effective Jan. 1, calls for ECHO to find clients only community-based jobs, with the goal of integrating them as fully as possible. However, the contract also calls for some clients to be supervised intensely, with the help of ECHO staff, and for others to work more independently, according to their skills.

PARK VIEW RECYCLING CENTER -- The board received a staff report saying county staff is still searching for a permanent location in the Sterling area for a recycling center now at Sterling's Park View High School.

The county became involved in where to locate the recycling center after a representative from the Sterling Foundation, a community group that runs the center, told the board that the center had been vandalized on several occasions. Also, Park View administrators expressed concern that trucks which service the recycling containers could damage the school parking lot.

The board made an interim decision to move the center to the Claude Moore tract, recently acquired by the county as a park. But the new park is open to the public only on a limited basis until it is developed, and parks and recreation officials wanted to allow access to the recycling center only for a few hours each week. The Sterling Foundation, which operates the center 24 hours a day at the Park View site, said the parks and recreation plan did not meet its needs.

Now county staff is back to exploring options for the center's final location. They include persuading parks and recreation officials to allow longer operating hours at Claude Moore Park, keeping the center at Park View, or finding yet another site within the Sterling area. Town of Leesburg

The following was among actions taken at the Dec. 12 meeting of the Leesburg Town Council. For more information, call 777-2420.

FIRE STATION -- The council denied a long-standing request by the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Department to build a substation on a 1 1/2-acre site near Leesburg Elementary School.

The vote was 4 to 2, with council members James Clem and William Webb voting to approve the fire department's request. Clem is president of the fire department.

Other council members voted to deny the request largely because of protests from parents, school officials and residents of the Exeter subdivision, where the site is located. Exeter is in north Leesburg, between Route 15 north and the Route 15 bypass.

Residents complained about the noise and traffic they said a fire station would bring to their neighborhood. Parents and school officials opposed the fire station because they said they did not want speeding fire vehicles on the same streets where children walk to school. Last summer, parents and school officials presented the council with a petition signed by 200 people asking that the fire department not be allowed to locate a station in Exeter.

The fire department said children would not be at risk because of a nearby fire station. Rather, they said, the community will be at risk if the fire department can not find a site for a new substation in northeast Leesburg, among the fastest growing areas of town. They said the town's only station on Loudoun Street in the Old and Historic District is no longer sufficient to serve the whole town.

Council members who voted against the Exeter site said they were not voting against the fire department, but against putting a station in that location. They said they recognized the importance of having a fire station in northeast Leesburg and agreed to appoint a committee to help the department find a site. The committee will be appointed Jan. 2 at the council's Administration and Public Works committee meeting. Town of Lovettsville

The following was among actions taken at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council. For more information, call 822-5788.

ELECTIONS -- The Town Council elected William George to fill a seat vacated by Elaine Walker, who was elected mayor Nov. 15.

George was the last of four original applicants for three vacant council positions. Two of the applicants were elected to the council last month to replace Frank Ray and Turner Hummer, who resigned in September.

The fourth applicant, Elizabeth Quader, was elected to the post of zoning administrator. Quader also will assume the duties of the town clerk, secretary to the Planning Commission and secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Those jobs had initially been intended to be separate from the zoning administrator's job, but were combined because Quader wanted to do all of them, Walker said. Town of Middleburg

The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Middleburg Town Council. For more information, call 687-5152.

TOWN HOUSES -- The Town Council approved a preliminary subdivision plan for Fox Run, a planned community of 48 town houses that would be Middleburg's largest housing development.

The preliminary subdivision plan approval is the latest in a series of steps that must be taken before construction can begin on the project, which would add an estimated 100 people to the town of 600. The developer, Middleburg resident Susan Pettibone, must still obtain final plan approval and building permits.

The toughest battle is over for Pettibone, however, who obtained a rezoning for the development from the council last April. Approval of the rezoning, from agricultural/residential to high-density residential, followed a year-long dispute that included a court case.

The council voted in September 1989 to permit 56 houses, but that vote was declared void two months later by a Loudoun County Circuit Court judge. The case came to court after a group of residents living near the site sued the town, claiming that they were not properly notified the matter was being decided. The judge ordered a new council vote on the issue, but also permitted Pettibone's rezoning application to remain current. Had the judge ordered a new application, Pettibone would have been required to wait a year before reapplying.

Instead, the council voted six months later, but reduced the development's density slightly to permit 48 houses.

PINK BOX COMMITTEE -- The Town Council appointed several residents to a committee that will oversee operation of the so-called "Pink Box," a building that will become a visitor information center for Middleburg.

The center, located across the street from the town office, is being renovated and should be open in January. Its purpose is to help tourists find places to shop, dine and sample Virginia wines in the Middleburg area.

The committee members are Jacqueline Watson, Salome Musch, Reginald Dawson, Gary Welke, Bill Schroeder and Carol Bowersock.

Town of Purcellville

The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 11 meeting of the Purcellville Town Council. For more information, call 338-7421.

PURCELLVILLE RAILROAD STATION -- The Town Council set a work session for Jan. 22 to discuss a joint purchase with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority of a run-down depot that once served as the Purcellville station along the Washington & Old Dominion rail line.

The depot, built in the early 1900s and now owned by developer Bruce Brownell, sits along Route 690 in town. Brownell, who is building a small mixed-use project near the depot, has offered to sell the building for $37,000.

"They {council members} are interested in pursuing it," Town Manager Jerry Schiro said. "I think, almost assuredly, between the town and the Park Authority, we will come up with the money."

Another alternative which the council will strongly consider is Brownell's offer to give the town the building in exchange for water and sewer credits for his development. That would save the town from having to borrow money to buy the building.

The building would be used for recreation, but the Park Authority has told the town that a more specific decision may not be made for five years. Some suggested uses are a model railroad museum or a rest stop for bikers on the W & OD Trail, which now ends in Purcellville but which the park authority hopes to extend to Bluemont.

First, the building would have to be stabilized to keep it from deteriorating further. The Park Authority estimates that will cost $50,000, which it has said it will pay if the town can help pay part of the cost of buying the building. The Park Authority has also asked the town to consider waiving some site development requirements, such as providing a set number of parking spaces, that would ordinarily apply to a renovation or new construction in Purcellville's downtown.

PURCELLVILLE LIBRARY -- The Town Council instructed Schiro to negotiate with Loudoun County about using extra space in the new Purcellville Municipal Center to temporarily house the Purcellville Library.

The library is about be expanded and may have to operate out of a bookmobile if no alternative space is found. The town has an unfinished area available in its new municipal building and is hoping the county will agree to finish the area in exchange for free rent for the library.