22 Aug 2014
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Gerry Hyland Takes Mount Vernon On 25th Annual Virtual Bus Tour

Mount Vernon District supervisor updated residents on the latest news in Mount Vernon at the 25th annual town hall on Saturday

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland got behind the wheel of his virtual bus tour for the 25th time on Saturday. The future of the district is bright, he said from 's Little Theatre, as he gave residents an update on the latest in economic development, transportation and community planning.    

"Lorton, all of a sudden is springing up like a flower," Hyland said. "With the metamorphosis of the Lorton Arts Foundation, the new schools…that area becomes one of the most exciting areas of opportunity in Fairfax County."

Retiring Fairfax County Executive Tony Griffin gave an optimistic budget forecast. "I'm pleased to say that our budget situation is stable," he said. "The budget assumes the current tax rate. There are a few cuts. …The future of Fairfax, I think, is sound. We have assets that most communities don't have, and quite frankly would prefer to have and would prefer to have the problems that we have." 

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who represents the 11th congressional District, spoke briefly about the work needed in Fairfax County. "We need to extend 'multimodal' solutions—Metro extension, light rail," he said. 

"It's very important when we are doing planning that we are doing it with the community and not to the community," said Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who also made a presentation and outlined major projects, including Metro's extension to Dulles and HOT Lanes. 

Belvoir and BRAC

Col. John Strycula, Fort Belvoir's Garrison commander, said that he had no word about future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) moves in Northern Virginia. "I want to firmly reduce the amount of traffic around Fort Belvoir. …There's nobody petitioning for more BRAC at Fort Belvoir," he said. "Secretary [Leon] Panetta did not tell me anything about his future plans."

Hyland told Strycula on stage that Belvoir needs another middle school. "We've got a location we have earmarked whenever funding becomes available for a school," Strycula said. 

Commuter-wise, the Eagle Express bus service began this year and takes federal employees from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station to Belvoir. Additionally, a 535-space commuter lot will open in October at Rolling Road and the Fairfax County Parkway. 

Here are some of the topics presented in the virtual bus tour: 

Widening Richmond Highway

  • Proposal: $180 million to widen Richmond Highway to six lanes from Telegraph Road to Route 235 at Woodlawn
  • Virginia Department of Transportation, Federal Hghway Administration and the county will performing environmental analysis to be published this year

Lorton Road - Richmond Highway Corner Development

  • Future site of Walgreens and bank
  • Slowed construction due to failure to meet green building requirements
  • Scheduled completion: Fall 2012

Lorton Road Widening

  • Widening from two to four lanes
  • Approved in 2007 bond

  • Ground broke on the 45,000 square-feet library at Mount Vernon last year
  • Eight Scholars in residence will live on site
  • Total cost: $47 million
  • Scheduled completion: Fall 2013

  • National Park Service made site development plan to discuss park future 
  • Park visitation exceeds capacity
  • Community rejected National Parks Service's plan to demolish pavilions
  • New plans in development based on the feedback 

  • Safeway wants to tear down the 19,947-square-foot store and build a new 51,000-square-foot store with underground parking and outdoor seating available
  • Safeway would have to apply for a rezoning. 

Mount Vernon Hospital Expansion Plan

  • Inova Health System investing $43.6 million for the expansion
  • More fundraising needed to finish project

Gilbert S. McCutcheon Park

  • Formerly Lamond Park
  • Bought by the Park Authority in 2000 for $4.6 million 
  • Rededication set for this spring

  • A 140,000-square-foot building at the former site of the Mount Vernon Multiplex Cinema
  • Total cost: $25 million
  • Scheduled completion: Spring 2013

The shoreline at Dyke Marsh eroded between six and eight feet per year from 1987 to 2006, according to a study cited by Hyland. The NPS is performing an environmental assessment to preserve the marshland.

The Board will soon consider a storm water bond to build a levee to protect Huntington homes and property damaged last year by remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

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