Provided by Prince William County
Election Day is Nov. 5. Prince William County voters will be asked to vote on two separate referendums seeking authority for the county to issue bonds to provide revenue for specific transportation projects and parks projects.
If voters approve either or both of the bond questions, it will authorize the county to borrow money to buy land and construct projects by issuing general obligation bonds. These bonds are sold to investors and repaid over a period of years with county revenues.
If the majority vote “yes” for a question, the referendum is passed. This authorizes the board to sell bonds if it chooses to do so in the future. However, a passed referendum does not require the board to sell bonds.
The authorization of an approved bond referendum is good for up to eight years, and the county has the option to extend that authorization for an additional two years, subject to court approval. The county may only use bond sale proceeds for the projects specifically stated in the approved question.
While bond proceeds provide an immediate source of funding, the annual debt service on the bonds must be paid from County general revenue sources, which include state and local taxes and fees. The required appropriation of general revenue to pay any annual debt service incurred must be approved by the Board of County Supervisors during the annual budget process.
Mobility/Road Improvement Bonds
The Mobility/Road Improvement question, if approved, would provide the authority for the board to sell a total of $355 million in general obligation bonds to fund five road projects across the county.
The most significant project is improvements to Route 28 through Manassas and Manassas Park to the Fairfax County border. At an estimated $200 million, the county will either construct the Route 28 Bypass from Godwin Drive to existing 28 (Centreville Road) at the Fairfax County border or widen existing Route 28 from Liberia Avenue to the Fairfax County border. The outcome of an environmental study will determine which alternative is selected. Either option will include design, construction, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation costs. Additionally, pedestrian facilities will be included in either option.
An interchange at Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway would include overpasses and improve traffic flow, reduce delays and improve the transportation network for better access to destinations such as Potomac Mills Mall and Dale City. That is estimated to cost $70 million.
Widening Devlin Road from two to four lanes between Linton Hall and Wellington roads, and the relocated Balls Ford Road, would cost an estimated $50 million and would improve access to Va. 234 and Interstate 66 at the Balls Ford Road/Va. 234 intersection.
The Summit School Road Extension, which would expand the road from two to four lanes at Telegraph Road, would provide a new and improved connection between Minnieville and Telegraph roads for an estimated $20 million. The project would also improve access to the Horner Road Commuter Lot and Interstate 95 Express Lanes and include a sidewalk and a shared-use path.
Improvements at the Old Bridge Road/Gordon Boulevard intersection would include a flyover ramp from northbound Gordon Boulevard to westbound Old Bridge Road to reduce weaving movements, delays and congestion at the intersection. This is estimated to cost $15 million.
Park Improvement Bonds
The parks question would authorize bond sales for up to $41 million that may only be used toward the five park projects listed in the question. These include:
Development of new trail projects and completing unfinished projects for an estimated $20 million, including but not limited to the Occoquan Greenway and the Neabsco Greenway. Purchasing land across the county for public open space and completing accessibility projects at various county parks would also be included.
Improvements at Howison Park could include a new walking trail, the addition of new, outdoor exercise equipment, spectator seating and an expansion of the restroom area. New Neabsco District park development would include building a new park with features for all ages; and an expansion at Fuller Heights Park would build up to two new youth baseball fields and improve amenities near the fields. These three projects are estimated to cost approximately $6 million each.
Putting in two artificial turf fields to replace existing grass fields at Hellwig Park would cost an estimated $3 million.
Costs for the bonds are based on current market prices and anticipated design estimates. Actual costs will not be known until the process proceeds and design and construction bids come in. Additionally, the board cannot spend bond money on projects not mentioned in the referendums.
The Actual Bond Questions
MOBILITY/ROAD IMPROVEMENT BONDS
Shall Prince William County, Virginia contract a debt, borrow money, and issue its general obligation capital improvement bonds in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $355,000,000 to provide funds (including reimbursement to the County for temporary financing) for the purpose of financing the costs of acquiring, designing, constructing and improving the following mobility/road improvement projects in the County: Devlin Road Widening; Route 28 Bypass/Widening; Minnieville Road/Prince William Parkway Interchange; Old Bridge Road/Gordon Boulevard Intersection; and Summit School Road Extension?
PARK IMPROVEMENT BONDS – OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Shall Prince William County, Virginia contract a debt, borrow money, and issue its general obligation capital improvement bonds in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $41,000,000 to provide funds (including reimbursement to the County for temporary financing) for the purpose of financing the costs of acquiring, designing, constructing and improving the following park improvement projects in the County: Howison Park Improvements; New Neabsco Park Development; Fuller Heights Park Expansion; Hellwig Park Artificial Turf Fields; and Countywide Trail (including, but not limited to, the Occoquan Greenway and Neabsco Greenway), Open-Space and Accessibility Projects?
More information about the bond questions is available at pwcgov.org/bond.