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September 13, 2017

Supervisors to approve Orlean fire station plan

The new Orlean fire/rescue station will cost an estimated $6.9 million.
I don’t think anyone’s particularly happy about the cost. There’s always some dispute about the numbers. It’s a low-volume station. The issue is you still have to have somebody there, because you can’t have 20- to 25-minute response times.
— Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
After more than eight years of setbacks, Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday expects to approve a new, $6.9-million station for the Orlean Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

“I think we have enough votes to pass it,” Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall District) said Monday in a phone interview. “I’m hoping it will be unanimous. But, things can change between now and then.”

> Agenda with links at bottom of story

The supervisors last month postponed action on the 18,400-square-foot project because of confusion about cost and because Mrs. McDaniel had been unable to attend the July board meeting after hip surgery.

Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott District) also questioned spending that amount on a station that handles about 400 emergency calls per year.

During 2017, the volunteers and county career firefighter/medics stationed at Orlean handled 294 emergency calls, according to the county dispatch center.

“I don’t think anyone’s particularly happy about the cost,” said Mrs. McDaniel, whose district includes Orlean. “There’s always some dispute about the numbers. It’s a low-volume station. The issue is you still have to have somebody there, because you can’t have 20- to 25-minute response times.

“The question issue is how do you” reduce emergency response times “in affordable manner?”

Funding of the 18,400-square-foot station will include:

• $4.8 million of debt.

• $1 million from the Fauquier Volunteer Fire and Rescue Fund.

• $600,000 in donations.

About $560,000 already has been spent on “soft costs,” such as design and engineering.

In other matters, the board Thursday will:

• Conduct a closed session to discuss public/private proposals from Wi4ME LLC of McLean and Freedom Telecom Services Inc. of Monkton, Md., to provide broadband internet to Fauquier’s unserved and underserved areas.

Fauquier’s adopted 2018-23 Capital Improvements Plan calls for spending up to $20.6 million to extend broadband to as many as 10,000 rural homes. 

The supervisors Thursday will authorize Chairman Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) to sign an agreement that will allow Loudoun-based Waterford Telephone Co. to use a $50,000 PATH Foundation grant the county has received to buy and install equipment needed to provide broadband service in each of Fauquier’s five magisterial districts.

The small-scale project would give company President Bruce Davis a chance to demonstrate to the supervisors that his model for extending broadband service to rural areas can work in Fauquier.

Initially, Waterford Telephone hopes to sign up 250 customers — 50 per district.

• Conduct a closed session to discuss bids and proposals to construct a wastewater treatment system to serve the Catlett and Calverton areas.

The board also will discuss potential drainfield sites to accommodate the system.

For decades, county officials unsuccessfully have grappled with ways to address failing septic drainfields in the two Eastern Fauquier communities.

For more than three years, Fauquier officials had worked with a Northwest Cascade Inc. to construct an alternative treatment system that could handle 80,000 gallons of wastewater.

But in January, the Washington-state based company told the county it had abandoned a plan to construct an alternative treatment system that could handle up to 80,000 gallons of wastewater per day.

The decision did not surprise County Administrator Paul S. McCulla partly because the company already had appeared to “pull back” on developing an East Coast market for building alternative wastewater treatment systems.

• Conduct a public hearing on the proposed Marshall Code, which would replace most of the village’s existing downtown zoning. Allowing a range of by-right uses, it calls for three contiguous districts — “Town,” “Gateway” and “Town Residential” — and a corresponding historic district and corridor along Main Street and Winchester Road.

Generally, the “form-based code” would put more emphasis on design and allow a greater range of building uses.

The county planning commission in July unanimously recommended approval of the proposed code.

• Renew a one-year lease to rent office space at 8452 Renalds Ave. in Marshall to house the county business incubator program. Under the agreement, which will begin Oct. 1, the county will pay property owner Top Dog LLC $2,000 per month for four offices.

Typically inexpensive office space, incubators include equipment to help startups and small companies grow and move to their own offices.

Fauquier operates three incubators — one in Marshall and another at Vint Hill — along with Mason Enterprise Center, in partnership with George Mason University, on Warrenton’s Main Street. 

• Approve an agreement between the county parks and recreation department and the school system to use the Marshall Community Center’s basement to initially house a planned after-school program.

The school system will pay to remodel the space; the parks department will cover operational costs. The 10-year lease would begin Aug. 2.

• Conduct a work session to discuss ways to tax and regulate — through the zoning ordinance — the short-term rental of homes.

“Research has shown that approximately 90 (Fauquier) dwellings are listed on Airbnb without approvals,” according to county staff.

Fauquier Board of Supervisors 9 14 2017 Agenda by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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