Editor: Courtland Milloy, in a Feb. 16 Washington Post column, describes Loudoun County as “beautiful equestrian country.” He must be talking about western Loudoun County as eastern Loudoun is now home to a multitude of town houses, clusters of retail stores, and server farms. Horses are few and far between. Now it seems that western Loudoun is also headed in that direction, if the current Board of Supervisors continues on the path it seems to be going in.
The current county board pays more attention to renaming roads and removing statues, then addressing more substantial needs of our community. The Emerald Ribbons initiative to develop horse, biking and hiking trails is dead in the water. When was the last time you saw a new park in western Loudoun? Beautiful fields from Purcellville to Round Hill to Lovettsville are now filled with cookie-cutter houses. A proposed new firehouse in Philomont is planned to be built on the site of the oldest horse show in Loudoun County. This new facility will cost county taxpayers over $25 million to build.
At the Oct. 5 board meeting, Supervisor Buffington stated his e-mails show overwhelming support of a brand-new fire station being placed in Philomont on property previously used as a horse show grounds by the Philomont Volunteer Fire Department. Two other speakers (both administrative members of the fire department) stated this proposed new station has overwhelming community support. There is no basis for these statements. Members of the Philomont community have collect 262 signatures (with more to come) on a petition calling for the renovation of the existing fire station and the preservation of the existing horse show grounds as a public park. Only five residents have refused to sign this petition. This looks like overwhelming support not to build a new fire station.
The $25 million targeted for this new station could be better used to fund sorely needed public recreational parks and facilities. The western Loudoun community does not need nor want this new fire station. It is simply not necessary. It does need the kind of open spaces envisioned by the emerald roads’ initiative. Hopefully, the board of supervisors will listen to the citizens of western Loudoun County
Lloyd McCliggott, Philomont