On the Ballot: Loudoun County Bond Referenda

Before the county government can borrow money to finance projects, it must ask permission from voters in a bond referendum. With Loudoun’s triple-triple-a credit rating, it can sell bonds at low interest rates, generally considered one of the cheapest ways to finance construction projects. However, it is also not the only way to finance those projects; even if voters vote down a bond referendum, a rare occurrence, county supervisors may choose to fund the project another way.

Conversely, the bond referendum only authorizes that issuance. County supervisors could then decide not to issue that debt, although that is rare with the county’s packed Capital Improvement Program.

Bond questions this year are grouped into categories: school projects, public safety projects, parks and recreation projects, and transportation projects. While specific projects are named in those questions, they are also intentionally phrased broadly enough to allow county leaders to use that money on other projects in that category.

In total, this year the county is asking voters to support issuing more than $308 million in debt.

School Projects

The county is asking to issue $123,755,000 in debt to finance projects like renovations to the Douglass School, school facility upgrades and alterations, school security improvements, and installing a welcome center at Sterling Elementary School.

Public Safety Projects

The county is asking to issue $29,516,000 in debt to finance projects including expanding the Fire and Rescue Training Academy and building a Philomont Fire and Rescue Station—a project that has drawn controversy from the community, and for which the department will now study alternatives such as renovating the current station.

Parks and Recreation Projects

The county is asking to issue $3,825,000 in debt to finance projects such as ongoing work on Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park near Leesburg and Scott Jenkins Memorial Park near Hamilton.

Transportation Projects

The county is asking to issue $151,210,000 in debt to finance projects such as building sections of Braddock Road, widening Loudoun County Parkway between Ryan Road and Shellhorn Road, improving Rt. 15 between Montresor Road and the Point of Rocks Bridge, building a new road between Rt. 50 and Rt. 28 at Tall Cedars Parkway, installing a roundabout at Rt. 50 and Trailhead Drive, installing sidewalks along River Creek Parkway, and other projects in the county’s ongoing Sidewalk and Trail Program.

Although the road network is a state responsibility, transportation projects are the biggest part of the county’s Capital Improvement Program as the state has failed for years to keep up with Loudoun’s growth.

Leave a Reply