The Leesburg Town Council has sent its capital projects funding wish list to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisors annually ask Loudoun’s incorporated towns to submit requests for capital projects that are pedestrian or transportation related and would benefit the county at large. The current funding request is for inclusion in the county’s fiscal year 2019 Capital Improvement Program.
According to Tom Brandon, capital projects manager for the town’s Public Works & Capital Projects Department, town staff did not receive the county’s request until the day before it was due. So, the staff selected two projects that met the criteria and submitted them ahead of the deadline. Last week, they asked the council to adopt a resolution, requested by the county, endorsing the application.
That includes $1.8 million for phase one of the Tuscarora Creek Trail, which will provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the Douglass School and Community Center, W&OD Trail, Brandon Park and the Leesburg Skate Park. The trail project is expected to begin construction in 2022.
The other project submitted totaled $6 million for the widening of Evergreen Mill Road between Heritage High School and Rt. 15. Currently, the road widening project in the town’s CIP ends at the Battlefield Parkway intersection near Leesburg’s southern corporate limits, but the request to the county would extend the widening just a little beyond town limits to include the frontage of the school. The road widening project is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2020 and wrap up a year later.
Council members expressed frustration that the request for the town’s application came with such short notice. Brandon said the town staff reached out to the county in August to find out when the deadline would be and received no response.
Councilman Tom Dunn suggested that the council also add on to the application a request for funding of all capital projects at Leesburg Executive Airport, noting that the town airport has both a countywide and regional benefit. Councilman Ken Reid made a motion to that effect, ultimately accepted by all council members present.
The resolution for the funding request passed with a 6-0-1 vote, with Councilman Marty Martinez present.