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October 13, 2022

Arlington Greens support the Metro and sewage plant bonds, but oppose the four other bonds on the November 2022 ballot in Arlington

Uncategorized — @ 11:53 am

Arlington voters have been asked to approve or deny a total $510 million in 6 different bonds on the November 8 ballot, a staggering amount of funds even given Arlington’s high tax base.  This $510 million in new debt will largely exhaust the county’s ability to issue any new bonds for the foreseeable future.   Annual debt service at 4% interest on municipal bonds would obligate the county to spend annually $29 million for the next 30 years.  Greens believe that only the Metro bond and sewage plant/drinking water bond merit approval at this time.

At their October meeting, Arlington Greens voted to support the $177 million bond to upgrade the sewage treatment plant and drinking water system, a $53 million bond for Metro and transportation.    Greens believe that the county’s sewage treatment plant and drinking water service must be upgraded to meet the needs of more residents as well as EPA environmental requirements.   In addition, Greens believe Arlington must continue to fund Metro rail, Metro bus, and to repave and maintain county streets.

Greens voted to oppose the four other bonds:  the $22 million for recreation projects; $53 million to fund new courthouse buildings; $165 million to build another high school; and $40 million for gray infrastructure for storm water.  These projects have not been well thought out and precise goals and engineering studies not conducted to provide voters with good information.  County and school officials need to do more planning and make a better case for these four bonds. The $165 million school bond includes $136 million for a new high school off Columbia Pike for a new vocational school.  The school board has not completed its work on the scope purpose, and details for a new vocational/technical high school.   Arlington public school enrollments have fallen since the pandemic and yet to recover to 2019 level.   More critical issue is raising staff salaries to attract and keep more bus drivers, aides and teac