Volume 3 | April 2020
As we go through this pandemic, one thing I can assure you is that your county government is working! It may look and feel different, but critical services are being delivered and your Board of Supervisors continues to govern.

A great example is yesterday's (April 14) historic virtual Board of Supervisors meeting. It will be available for viewing tomorrow here . Despite being in 10 different locations, we were able to accomplish our meeting agenda . Two highlights:

Microloans for Small Businesses:
The Board authorized a microloan fund enabling small businesses to apply for loans of up to $20,000 at 0% interest. Businesses that employ less than 50 people make up 94% of county businesses. The program will also assist businesses in identifying optimal federal or local programs where additional relief may be available. Applications will be accepted starting April 28. Learn more here and how you can apply here .

Elimination of Admissions Tax:
The Board held a public hearing to consider the establishment of an Admissions Tax. Following the hearing, the Board voted to reject this tax and eliminated it from the FY 2021 Budget. (More on the budget is below) Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our community members and businesses, we felt it was not appropriate to implement this tax at this time.

I will continue to champion for an open and transparent local government as we strive to find the best ways to keep you engaged during this emergency . Thank you for your feedback and flexibility as we move forward.

Respectfully,
Walter Alcorn 
Coronavirus Update
Current Number of Cases in the Fairfax Health District
Daily reported numbers for the Fairfax Health District are  here . In addition, you can get information on COVID-19 cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia here .

COVID-19 and Long-Term Care: How the Health Department is Helping and Responding. Learn more

My office will continue to provide a Coronavirus Update every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the emergency.
Fire Station 25 Update
The Reston Fire Station project is on schedule. Demolition is complete for the existing building structure on Wiehle Avenue. Site demolition and utilities are in progress. Phases 1 and 2, which includes construction of the new fire station and relocation and site restoration of the temporary facility located on Cameron Glen Drive is scheduled for substantial completion in late October to November 2021.

Funding for the new Fire Station 25 was included on the 2015 Public Safety Bond Referendum approved by voters. The bond referendum was for $13 Million to cover design and construction of the new fire station and the temporary fire station.
Demolition of the old Fire Station 25 was completed at the end of March. The new fire station building will be built on the same site.
The temporary station is located at 1840 Cameron Glen Drive, while the new Station 25 is built. Crews will maintain continuous emergency response to the Reston community during construction.
Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) Update
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the March 31 Task Force meeting was cancelled. The meeting presentations were recorded and along with the meeting materials, are posted on the CECAP web site . At this stage in the CECAP development process, the Focus Groups and Task Force are reviewing a draft greenhouse gas inventory created by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. They are also reviewing a business-as-usual emissions (BAU) model and five potential emission reduction scenarios. The nine district level Focus Groups (including Hunter Mill) did not provide feedback on these materials in March as they would have in the original process. Instead, their comments will be prepared for the next time the Task Force meets (originally scheduled for April, now deferred).  More information and materials.
Land Use News
Update on Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force 
  • Membership on the task force will be a balanced combination of residents and business/industry professionals, and task force members will be announced later this week.
  • The inaugural meeting of the task force will be a virtual meeting and is scheduled for May 11. There is a lot of work to be done so we will schedule meetings every two weeks.
  • I am committed to robust communications for the task force – our web page is now live and will have existing comprehensive plan language, recent rezoning activity, relevant studies, task force minutes and other relevant information. In addition, we will provide residents with frequent updates and forums to provide input. All task force meetings will be structured to allow for participation by all interested parties.
  • This is an exciting time to move forward and shape our future in Reston! For more information, please contact Hunter Mill District Land Use Aide Jose Delcid at 703-478-5123, TTY 711, or email the office at huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov.

CANCELLATION NOTE: Reston Planning & Zoning Committee Meeting, April 20,
7:30 p.m.

Hunter Mill Land Use Committee Virtual Meeting, April 21, 6 p.m.

Provide Feedback on Accessory Dwelling Units and Home-Based Businesses
Input is sought from residents on two uses that are allowed in a dwelling – accessory dwelling units and home-based businesses. In response to current trends, the proposed regulations would streamline the approval process and better address affordability concerns for homeowners and small businesses. Learn more about the proposed changes by watching two short videos - the top video at left covers accessory dwelling units and below covers home-based businesses. You can submit feedback by taking the surveys below.




Transportation Update
Metro asks customers to wear cloth face coverings, as recommended by CDC, to help slow the spread of disease. Learn more.

The community meetings for the  Preferred Plan for Herndon-Reston Area Bus Service   have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date. Residents can provide input via an online survey . The survey will be open until further notice. Comments can also be mailed to Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033.   You can also  email   feedback.

Hunter Mill Road Bridge Project
The single lane bridge on Hunter Mill Road has been on the schedule for repair or replacement for some time. Last month the bridge was inspected and found to be in worse repair than had been expected. Emergency repair work was done which also involved reducing the width and the weight load so the bridge could be used until a permanent new bridge is installed. The maximum weight limit was reduced to 10 tons and emergency services and schools were notified of the change. Since then, VDOT and FCDOT have moved up the timeline for a complete replacement of the bridge. A tentative plan has been proposed and will be presented to the public shortly. We hope to move rapidly to replace the bridge with a structure that meets the needs of those using the road, residents of the area, and trail users. That said, design to construction does take time and it may be next spring before we see construction completed. We tentatively plan to hold a virtual public meeting at the end of May and will provide details when available.

Fairfax Connector Announces Service Reductions due to Impacts of COVID-19
Effective Saturday, April 11, temporary adjustments were made to Fairfax Connector bus service due to reduced ridership from the impacts of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of passengers and operators.  Learn more.
Reston's Founder's Day is April 18
One of the many beloved annual activities that have been cancelled due to the pandemic is Reston's Founder's Day celebration, which was planned for this Saturday, April 18. However, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has put together a list of creative ideas for you and your family to celebrate Reston and founder Robert Simon at home. More information Enjoy!
  • Bake a cake to celebrate Robert E. Simon's birthday.
  • Enjoy the film created by Rebekah Wingert of Storycatcher Productions in memory of Robert E. Simon Jr. (Reston’s founder, April 10, 1914 – September 21, 2015) for his memorial in April 2016. The film was commissioned for the occasion by Reston Community Center: Watch
  • Enjoy nature.
  • Connect with the community by virtually connecting and supporting local businesses. 
  • Enjoy or create artwork. Ideas: make an exhibit at home, chalk your sidewalk, create a sculpture with craft supplies. Be inspired by Public Art Reston.
  • Participate in StoryCorps.
  • Make music.
  • Learn about Reston's history here on our website: read, view past programssee an online exhibitprint out our kid's activity book.
  • Share your story with us.
  • Order a commemorative brick to be dedicated at next year's Founder's Day.
  • Join a Reston Story Time.
  • Watch our new #museumfromhome video series.
  • Tag @restonmuseum in a 30-second Facebook video showing how you are celebrating! Everyone who tags Reston Museum will be entered to win a commemorative brick to be installed in 2021.

Town of Vienna Election
Gov. Ralph Northam has requested that the General Assembly move the May 5 elections, including the town's election, to Nov. 3. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet April 22 unless called into session sooner. More information .

FY 2021 Budget - Next Steps
The FY 2021 Budget Process is moving forward on its revised timeline . On April 8, I hosted a virtual budget town hall with Christina Jackson, Director of the Department of Management and Budget (photo on right). If you were not able to participate, you can watch the video here . I am working on scheduling another budget town hall meeting and will promote those details soon. You also have the opportunity to provide input to the Board of Supervisors during the public hearings April 28-30. Details are here .


Here are Six Takeaways on the FY 2021 Revised Proposed Budget:
  1. This budget is essentially a continuation of tax rates and spending levels from the current fiscal year, and because it does not take into account inflation or growth in school population or demand for services, the effect is similar to an across-the-board reduction
  2. The updated budget proposal focuses on only those items that are critical to maintaining the health and safety of our residents and the continued function of essential services. 
  3. All proposed tax rate and fee increases have been eliminated, which maintains the current Real Estate Tax rate of $1.15 per $100 of assessed value and eliminates the proposed three-cent increase – including the two cents that was proposed to balance the General Fund and the one cent for affordable housing.
  4. The revised proposal also removes the recommended 4 percent Admissions Tax.
  5. Spending adjustments include the elimination of compensation increases for county employees. 
  6. The increase in the transfer to the Schools Operating Fund is reduced from $85.52 million to $7.31 million and represents an increase of 0.34 percent over the current FY 2020 budget. Including support for Schools Debt Service, which remains unchanged from the $0.20 million increase included previously, total Schools support totals $7.51 million and Schools represent 52.7 percent of total General Fund disbursements.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn
703-478-0283, TTY 711