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Fauquier seeks earlier Marshall streetscape payment

Wednesday, Jul. 27 | By James Ivancic
Fauquier County plans to ask Van Metre Corp. to provide $370,000 in proffer funds ahead of scheduled payments to cover Marshall Streetscape improvements not funded by the state.

The company is building Carter's Crossing, 176-unit residential development south of Main Street.

Proffer payments are not scheduled to start in phases until 2019 but Marshall District Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel will ask Van Metre for an earlier payment.

The early payment would help with a cash crunch to cover costs, including putting utility lines underground.

Supervisors Chairman Chris Granger said, “We've had some project creep,” referring to additional expenses. He singled out the higher cost of putting utility lines underground.

“We were told there wouldn't be any more [requests for funding] coming back to this board,” after an earlier outlay of funds, Granger said.

“We knew that the money would be needed before the proffers were paid. Where was the money to come from?” asked Scott District Supervisor Holder Trumbo.

Erin Kozanecki, director of the county's Office of Management and Budget said, “I believe the previous supervisors believed the proffer money would come in sooner.”

“I'm supportive of this [project]. I am disappointed Van Metre is not more willing to advance the proffers,” Granger said. County staff had already sounded out the company on the issue.

McDaniel said the fund transfer is essentially a loan that will be repaid when proffers are received.

“This is a shovel-ready project that's going to be critical to the continued success of Marshall,” she said.

McDaniel offered to talk to a Van Metre representative about earlier proffer payments.

The discussion came during an update July 14 on the Marshall project, which involves construction of sidewalks, sidewalks, landscaping, illuminating of driveway aprons, paving and other amenities such as benches and bike racks.

Sidewalks along Winchester Road, now near completion, was split off as a separate undertaking as was the Salem Meeting House project.

Phase A of the Main Street project, now nearing engineering completion, would work on north and south sides of the street between Winchester Road/Rectortown Road and Frost Street. Future phases, still early in planning, would extend the improvements along Main Street to the west and east.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has allocated $4,021,975 to the project thus far and a formal award of an additional $490,000 is pending under an 80/20 percent cost-sharing split.

The local share amounts to $902,395, according to a presentation supervisors received from Kozanecki and County Project Manager Gary Schwartz.

Phase A construction is scheduled to go out for bid on July 31 but that will likely be put off for 30 days because of some unresolved issues, including easement acquisition and bid package and project manual revisions.

The county's finance committee last month discussed transferring $609,525 from the county's capital reserve for the Marshall project.

The committee recommended transferring $32,216 from the county's capital reserve to complete engineering work and $117,373 to “forward fund” the local match requirement for the Marshall project.

To cover the balance, the committee laid out options of transferring funds from other capital improvement projects in the current fiscal year, seeking early payment of the proffers and increasing the Marshall Electric Light and Business Improvement District levy, revenues from which won't be received by the county until the tax year after the execution of contracts.

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