Loudoun Supervisors Say There’s No Backing Out of Metro

Loudoun supervisors said it’s too late for talk of backing out of the Silver Line project, despite well-publicized difficulties in the Metrorail system. In county Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large)’s words: “We can make it work.”

Speaking at the first event of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 PolicyMaker Series, Randall said that although Metro has longstanding problems, new CEO Paul Wiedefeld is making “great strides” in many areas.

“Finally we are getting really honest numbers about what the Metro is going to cost us going forward,” Randall said. “These numbers are startling, and they are concerning, and quite frankly, I have over the last month did a deep dive into Metro, and I can tell you there are almost no jurisdictions that can afford to write a check for the operations and [capital costs] of Metro. It’s literally impossible. We don’t have it.”

That, Randall said, is why Metro needs dedicated funding from Maryland, Virginia, DC, and the federal government. She and board Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) said the costs of pulling out of the Silver Line extension—which is already well under construction—would be devastating to the county, and that talking about pulling out “sends the wrong message.”

“Metro will be vitally important not just for housing, but for the economic and job growth in Loudoun County if we can get it right, and I believe we can get it right,” Randall said.

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

7 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors Say There’s No Backing Out of Metro

  • 2017-02-01 at 1:32 pm
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    “Finally we are getting really honest numbers about what the Metro is going to cost us going forward,”

    Sign here. I’ll tell you how much it will cost later.

    Only in government….

    • 2017-02-01 at 5:29 pm
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      My thoughts exactly. The “honest numbers” will surely rise too.

  • 2017-02-01 at 2:45 pm
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    This alwasy had a “you have to pass it first, to see what’s in it” smell.

    Appalling. Crack open your checkbooks Loudoun homeowners… your local governmnet just screwed you over… again.

  • 2017-02-01 at 3:03 pm
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    We all should remember that Ken Reid voted yes for Metro coming into Loudoun County, and he deserves the blame for this disasters decision. He is going to cost us, as taxpayers, untold millions and millions in dollars, that we will be paying for decades.

  • 2017-02-01 at 5:57 pm
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    And the numbers are astronomical. As Randall said, “These numbers are startling, and they are concerning, and quite frankly, I have over the last month did a deep dive into Metro, and I can tell you there are almost no jurisdictions that can afford to write a check for the operations and [capital costs] of Metro. It’s literally impossible. We don’t have it.”

    What numbers are those?:
    1. Metro has an annual operating deficit of $290M.
    2. Their unfunded pension liability is $2.8B.
    3. Projected additional needed capital funding is $20B-$25B (and this number keeps going up every time Metro opens its mouth).

    Loudoun was dumb enough to agree to be a financing partner to this failing system. Now we are on the hook for almost 5% of Metro. 5% of $20B+ is over $1B from Loudoun. They need another $15M/year for operating costs from us. We will never recover those costs from additional commercial development.

    Trump said he’s going to cut Metro funding and every jurisdiction swears some other level of government needs to step up and pay for Metro. Nobody will.

    Metro needs to go into bankruptcy protection, get restructured/dissolved , and then move on. Loudoun should have seen the obvious and waited until that happened before joining the failing system.

    Again, it was another Loudoun handout to developers. Ugh. Will it ever stop?

  • 2017-02-02 at 12:45 pm
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    This time next year those costs will rise even further and dates will be pushed. These current numbers are based on the optimal plan and we all know that rarely becomes the outcome.

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