From the Loudoun Times

Decades of planning will move forward, as the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday morning to extend Metro’s Silver Line to the Dulles International Airport and two miles into Loudoun County.

Five supervisors approved – Chairman Scott York (R-At Large), Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run), Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), and Ken Reid (R-Leesburg).

Opposing were Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian).

Loudoun County will initially be responsible for 4.8 percent of the overall cost for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project – both Phase One and Phase Two – estimated at $5.5 billion. The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (MWAA), Fairfax County and the commonwealth of Virginia will cover the remaining expense for Phase Two. MWAA is in charge of overseeing construction of both Phase One and Phase Two.

Altogether, Loudun’s expenses have been estimated at approximately $260-$270 million for capital costs, and annual expenses anywhere from $10-$20 million once the project is complete.

Phase Two work could begin in 2013 and be completed by 2018 at the earliest.

To start the meeting, the supervisors directed staff to begin the process of establishing rail service tax districts to be in place by January 2013. On the table are a rail service district, a station development district and an airport station district. Each district is not to exceed 20 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The primary district considered, drawn around the proposed stations at Route 606 and Route 772 and created by Williams, was drawn up to ensure that new development and businesses which will benefit most from rail will foot the bill, Williams said. Less than 40 existing residential homes are expected to see a tax increase with the financing plan. A countywide commercial and industrial tax and increasing the county’s general tax rate to pay for Metro were also taken off the table in recent weeks.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this is the right decision for Loudoun,” said Williams.

Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn last week called the board’s financing plan “brilliant,” something both Reid and Buona noted leading up to the vote.

Delgaudio, who made several attempts Tuesday to stall the vote, lashed his colleagues for opting in, saying they’re approving a project of undefined costs for an endless period of time.

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