Connolly Seeks to Increase

Tax Breaks for Seniors

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is asking the county supervisors to provide additional tax relief to senior citizens by raising income and asset limits.

Currently, seniors must earn $52,000 a year or less to qualify for real estate tax relief. Connolly would raise that to $72,000, the maximum permitted under state law. The county's asset limit is $240,000; the chairman would raise that to $340,000. The cost of making more people eligible for tax relief would be $5.8 million a year.

Connolly wants the board to make up the lost revenue by using part of a year-end surplus of about $46 million. The board is scheduled to discuss what to do with the surplus Sept. 12, following a public hearing.

"Reducing the real estate tax rate is important to provide relief to all of our homeowners," Connolly said in a statement. "However, we must also be cognizant of those residents on a fixed income who are especially burdened by rising real estate assessments."

County Funds to Support

Affordable Residences

County officials have awarded the first allotment from a special housing fund to help preserve 216 affordable housing units at the Madison Ridge apartments in Centreville.

The $2.5 million is only part of the county's financial contribution to the Madison Ridge effort. The county has also provided $6.1 million from two other housing funds, bringing the county's total financing of the project to $8.6 million.

Ninety-eight units at Madison Ridge will remain as affordable rental housing and 118 will be converted to condominiums and sold for prices considered to be affordable -- from $210,000 to $290,000, depending on size.

Of the 118 units converted to condos, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority will purchase 10 units, which will remain as permanently affordable rental units. The remaining 108 units will be sold at affordable prices for two years, officials said in a news release. Wesley Housing Development Corp., a local nonprofit organization, bought Madison Ridge last month and is the project developer.

Park Foundation Board

Appointments Announced

Robert Cochran and Kathryn Ward are joining the Fairfax County Park Foundation board of directors. Gerald Gordon has been reappointed by the county Park Authority board.

Cochran, of Chantilly, is vice president and director of land planning for Vika Inc., a civil engineering and land planning firm in McLean. Ward, of the Falls Church section of the county, is senior vice president of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Gordon, of Burke, the president and chief executive of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, has served one three-year term.

Group's Donation to Allow

Needy Kids to Go to Camp

The Friends of Fairfax Juvenile Court recently donated $10,000 to the county Park Foundation to support gang prevention programs.

The gift will allow 200 children who are considered to be at risk to attend summer camp as part of a program that offers a solution to child-care needs for working parents.

A tax-deductible donation to the foundation of $300 sends one child in grades 1 through 6 to camp for six weeks. To be eligible, children must qualify for the federal free-lunch program.

For more information, call 703-324-8581 or visit www.campbrightfutures.com.

Housing Authority

Reelects Leaders

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority has reelected Conrad E. Egan chairman and Ronald F. Christian vice chairman.

Egan, who represents the Providence District, is president and chief executive of the National Housing Conference in the District.

Christian, who represents the Braddock District, is director of the Lutheran Housing Services.

This is the fifth term for each board member.