Editor: If I were still in the House of Delegates, I would regrettably vote against the two Metro funding bills, HB 1539 and SB 856, that remain standing as of today since both propose to divert Northern Virginia Transportation Authority road-building money to long-underfunded Metro capital needs.
With all due respect to WMATA, this underfunding of Metro capital needs and related Metro management deficits occurred long before Loudoun voted to join the WMATA Compact in 2012.
These two bills would also disproportionately hurt Loudoun more than the rest of Northern Virginia in the Metro Service Area, since our county is the fastest-growing part of the Northern Virginia region and building roads and not investing in long overdue Metro capital needs (scheduled to arrive in 2020) must be our top priority.
These bills would also reduce the HB 2313 “30% Money” that flows directly from the NVTA to Loudoun and Leesburg for local road-building projects. I have been impressed by the stewardship of the Board of Supervisors and the Leesburg Town Council in using this “30% Money.”
Also, a reduction in NVTA money could jeopardize continued funding for the Battlefield Parkway/Rt. 7 and Leesburg Bypass/Edwards Ferry Road interchange projects in the Town Leesburg that I fought hard for during my four-year tenure on the NVTA.
Finally, I also am very concerned about the impact of these bills on NVTA revenue bonds that have already been issued. It is rarely a good idea to curtail the funding source for highly rated municipal revenue bonds after they were issued.
I would really like to see a Metro funding bill be approved this session, but not at the expense of diverting HB 2313 funds from the most successful regional road building operation we have have in decades, namely the NVTA.
J. Randall Minchew, Leesburg
Former 10th District representative in the Virginia House of Delegates