The Prince William Board of County Supervisors is considering a $400 million transportation bond and a $200 million parks bond that could go in front of voters in November.
Prince William County staff presented a list of road and park projects that could be funded if approved at the ballot box. The last bond referendum was in 2006.
At-large Chair Corey Stewart said residents should voice their opinions regarding the proposed bond projects 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
“People want to make sure it’s affordable and it’s the right mix of projects,” he said.
The board will consider whether to move forward with referendums on June 18, Stewart said.
If approved, the bond would help the county leverage regional, state and federal dollars to stretch the county’s dollar. For example, the 2006 road bond authorized the county to use bond financing for up to $300 million. The county only ended up authorizing bonds for $150 million, because the county leveraged other sources of funding, he said.
INDOOR SPORTS COMPLEX
At the top of a short list of proposals for parks: An $84 million indoor sports complex in eastern Prince William County with a hydraulic 200-meter, six-lane indoor track that would be one of five in the nation.
Other projects proposed Tuesday include a $21.6 million community field house in Brentsville; $10.8 million in improvements to Long Park; $6 million to develop a new dynamic park with an amphitheater in the Neabsco district; $6 million to expand Fuller Heights Park; a $42 million aquatic and fitness center in Woodbridge that would offer residents east of I-95 with a nearby facility; and $23.6 million to fund trails and buy open space throughout the county, said Seth Hendler-Voss, the county’s director of the parks, recreation and tourism department.
Sixteen parents, coaches and athletes told the board they support the county building an indoor sports complex in the eastern end of the county.
The proposed indoor sports complex would be 230,000 square feet, have 3,500 fixed seats, and would cost around $84 million. It could also host high school graduations and provide sports opportunities that would attract visitors to the county. Out of all of the proposed park projects, the complex has the ability to pay for its debt, Hendler-Voss said.
“There is a void for a facility like this in the D.C. area,” he said.
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, an Olympic gold medalist and Gar-Field High School graduate, said the complex would provide opportunities for youth and the community in addition to benefiting local businesses.
She said she saw her daughter’s practices cancelled due to conditions in the winter. And being able to compete closer to home will help student-athletes have more balance in their lives, she said.
Calinda Hawkins, Patriot High School’s head track coach, said she has about 110-150 students on her team on average. During this past season, she said the high school spent nearly $3,000 on just entry fees for three indoor track meets.
“Imagine if you have a tournament here,” Hawkins said.
Staff identified $2.5 billion in mobility projects and narrowed that list down after working with supervisors, said Ricardo Canizales, county transportation director.
Proposed projects include $50 million to widen Devlin Road to four lanes; $30 million to extend University Boulevard; $300 million for a Route 28 bypass road; $12.5 million for intersection improvements to the Sudley Road corridor; $40 million to widen Route 55 and improve the Catharpin Road intersection; $70 million to add an interchange at Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway; $15 million for a ramp at Gordon Boulevard and Old Bridge Road; $15 million for intersection improvements at Old Bridge Road and Prince William Parkway; $20 million to expand Summit School Road; a $70 million to expand Van Buren Road; $165 million to improve mobility in north Woodbridge at various locations adjacent to U.S. 1, Route 123, Horner Road, Annapolis Way and Marina Way; and $35 million for other smaller projects, said Canizales. A majority of the projects include bike and pedestrian access.
The proposed projects would create 50 new lanes in the county, 22 miles of bicycle and pedestrian access, and have a total cost of $512.5 million.
For all the projects, the county already has $27.8 million in funding available. The bond would be $400 million, meaning the county would still need $184.6 million in funding to complete the proposed projects, said Canizales.