The Vienna Town Council unanimously voted Monday (Feb. 7) to borrow $12 million to fund capital projects, including improvements of roadways, sidewalks, and the recently acquired Faith Baptist Church building.
Of the $12 million in bond funding, $6.7 million will be repaid with meals taxes, $3.9 million repaid with water and sewer fees and $1.2 million repaid by the general fund, Director of Finance Marion Serfass told the council at its Monday meeting.
About 44% of the money will go toward construction improvements to streets and sidewalks, and 33% for water and sewer projects. The remainder of the costs are for smaller facility improvements, like parks and recreation projects, public-use vehicles, and bond issuance costs.
“I do want to say for the record that the town does not undertake borrowing $12 million lightly,” Councilmember Chuck Anderson said. “We have a stellar financial record and that money is cheap, and we’re using these funds for capital improvements that are much needed, so this is actually a very fiscally smart and responsible thing to do.”
Councilmember Ray Brill responded that “money is never cheap” and “there is a cost to the money.”
Serfass told Tysons Reporter that this morning (Thursday), credit rating agencies Moody’s and S&P both reaffirmed their AAA rating of the town, the highest possible rating, because of the town’s likelihood to pay back the debt.
Projects from the $26.5 million 2022 Capital Improvement Plan that will get some of the bond funding include:
- Glen Avenue sidewalks ($1.9 million)
- Asphalt and mill overlay ($1.65 million)
- Glyndon Road SE improvements from Locust Street to Valley Drive ($725,000)
- The Freeman Store and Museum roof replacement ($95,000)
- Glyndon Park playground and parking lot replacement ($300,000 each)
- Faith Baptist Church property improvements ($300,000)
“A good use of the American Rescue Plan Act money is capital projects, one-time projects that don’t require additional funding going forward, so not a new program,” Serfass said at the town council’s Jan. 24 meeting when it approved the CIP. “That really is a benefit to us as a town and is going to allow us to take a little pressure off our debt capacity and off our water and sewer rates.”
Bond funding, including premiums, accounted for $37.6 million of the town’s 2020 CIP, which included about $15 million for the police station renovation, and $9.2 million of the 2018 CIP.
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