It was nice having thorough coverage of the back-and-forth over the Long Bridge Park aquatics center bond funding. The swimming pool, like the trolley, has been very controversial. And it's good for people to understand how much is being spent and what the likely consequences will be for dedicating significant resources to that particular project.
I also found Michelle Cowan's response to the question about state/federal funding of the trolley interesting. [Cowan is the Arlington County director of management and finance.] She indicated that if state/federal funding comes up short, the county would use other transportation funding to fill the gap. A good portion of the other transportation funding in the bond package is dedicated to repairing our roads, many of which are in very poor condition. (In fact, Michelle referred to the paving funds a couple of times during the meeting.) The county has a lot to catch up on as far as paving is concerned. But if the trolley needs more funding, then it appears that paving funds could be cannibalized and road repair would again be shortchanged. That's something you might want to investigate if you have the time/interest.
All the best and thanks again for the coverage!
Suzanne Smith Sundburg
CivFed delegate for Bluemont Civic Association and Organized Women Voters
A member of the Revenues & Expenditures Committee
Editor's note: Michelle Cowan has not returned phone calls asking for comment on this topic. At the Civic Federation meeting she said, "We have a very, very strong chance of getting those [federal] funds. We're hopeful. We have a very strong application." But her staff is mindful that grant funding through the "Small Starts" program might not come, so they would look "reallocation of transportation or possibly look at more leverageing of those other funds." "Other funds" apparently meaning state and local sources.