The Board of Supervisors’ finance committee is recommending against extending work to bury overhead utility lines around the courthouse project in Leesburg to other parts of town.
Utilities around the new District Court building in downtown Leesburg will be put underground in the county’s current plans for the project. But according to a county staff report, the courts requested the county consider extending that work beyond the limits of the complex onto other streets in town.
County staff members estimated burying those lines along Church Street to Cornwall Street would cost at least $700,000, and extending that work to North Street and onto parts of Cornwall Street would cost at least $2 million and as much as $2.7 million.
Committee members balked at that suggestion. Committee Chairman Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) said the county is “over-budget, and I’m to say almost in a hole, on a significant number of projects—this included.”
“We’re at a point with these construction projects where it is a need for us to have to spend the money,” Letourneau said. “So something that’s a want, and something that’s in my view not even a very significant want from a very significant number of people, is just not going to cut it where we are with our budget.”
Supervisor Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) pointed out that the previous phase of the courthouse complex project already ran significantly over-budget when sinkholes were found underneath the site of the new Pennington Garage in Leesburg.
“To just not like something in the viewshed, that doesn’t cut it in my view, and this was never part of the project,” Buona said.
Finance committee members recommended against extending the scope of that work 4-0-1, with County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) absent. The full Board of Supervisors will make the final decision.