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March 15, 2019

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Town debt on WARF

Clockwise from top left: The WARF, Fauquier Education Association President Lauren Brill, Republicans and Democrats and farmland preserved.
$8.3 million
The total principal and interest the town owes on the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Center.

The $23.5-million WARF opened in 2007. The town in 2006 issued bonds worth $9.7 million to help finance the project.

In 2012, Warrenton refinanced the debt at an annual interest rate of 2.5 percent, shaving $1 million from the total cost of borrowing. The town will retire the debt in 2031.

The amount Fauquier would spend to purchase the development rights of potential rural home lots under County Administrator Paul McCulla’s fiscal 2020 budget plan.

That represents a 3.1-percent increase, $26,433 more than this year’s budget for the land conservation program.

Established in 2002, the county’s voluntary purchase of development rights program pays qualified farmers $25,000 for each potential lot they agree to “extinguish” through deed restriction.

To date, Fauquier has spent about $16.8 million on the program, eliminating 660 potential building lots and preserving 13,177 acres. No other PDR program in Virginia has protected more land.

Local tax dollars account for about two-thirds of the money spent to buy the development rights; state and federal grants fund the balance.

The number of Margaret M. Pierce Elementary faculty members who earned their school staff a free pizza party by signing an attendance sheet at Tuesday’s county budget hearing.

Producing the largest number of signatures among Fauquier’s 20 schools, Pierce won the “friendly competition.” Hunter C. Ritchie Elementary near New Baltimore placed second with 18 signatures and James G. Brumfield Elementary in Warrenton placed third with 14.

Virginia Education Association Regional Director Robin Gardner hopes a local pizzeria will share the cost of the party with the statewide organization. Depending on the number of participants, the party could cost about $190, including the eatery’s donation, Ms. Gardner said.

A total of 96, including teachers, bus drivers and custodians who serve the Remington school, will be invited to the party, said Pierce kindergarten teacher and Fauquier Education Association President Lauren Brill.

Desktop and laptop computers Fauquier County Public Schools own. The inventory incudes some devices that date to 2007. The school system in 2017 purchased 2,258 laptop and desktop computers.

Last fall, the schools bought 840 Chromebooks — laptops primarily for Internet access — with end-of-year funding at $258 per unit.

Candidates this year seek election in the four Virginia legislative districts — three in the House and one in the Senate — that include parts or all of Fauquier County.

The four incumbents running again:

• Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

• Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st/Woodbridge).

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Spotsylvania).

• Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th/Upperville).

In the 18th House District, Laura Galante of Marshall and Tristin Shields of Rixeyville seek the Democratic nomination to run against Del. Webert.

In the 31st, Republican D.J. Jordan Jr. of Woodbridge challenges Del. Guzman.

In the 88th, Democrats Jess Foster of Remington and Kecia Evans of Stafford seek the nomination to challenge Del. Cole.

In the 27th Senate District, Ronnie Ross of Middleburg challenges Ms. Vogel.

Virginians will elect all 100 House of Delegates members and all 40 senators on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
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