On November 3, Fairfax County voters will be asked to vote yes or no on a public safety bond question. The question asks voters to allow the county to borrow up to $151 million to fund the cost of constructing, reconstructing, enlarging, renovating, equipping and acquiring land for public safety facilities. If the majority of voters approve the question, the county currently plans to issue bonds to fund these improvements to five police facilities and five fire stations. The proposed improvements to police facilities are described below.
A new police station with animal services in southern Fairfax County will serve a growing population. Police service in South County currently is provided by the Franconia and West Springfield District Stations, with Franconia being one of the county’s busiest stations. The additional police station would allow the department to organize smaller patrol areas and decrease response times throughout the county. The station also would be home to a new animal shelter and animal control officers. Currently one county animal shelter supports an estimated 5,500 companion animals and 2,000 wildlife animals per year.
Animals from South County must be transported long distances to the current shelter on West Ox Road. An animal shelter in South County would offer services such as pet adoptions, rabies clinics, spay and neuter services, wildlife education and a volunteer program in a location more convenient to South County residents.
Built in 1984, the West Ox Police Heliport no longer meets the needs of the specialized staff and equipment assigned to the 24/7 facility. The flight officers, pilots, paramedics and maintenance crews perform more than 150 helicopter missions per month and more than 80 medical evacuations a year. Similar to a firehouse, staff remains on-site throughout their shift, but locker space, helicopter equipment space, storage areas and training space is insufficient to meet current operational needs. The helicopter hangers are not large enough to house the county’s two twin-engine helicopters, and the sloped landing pad causes safety issues especially during winter months.
Built in 1992, the Franconia District Police Station has surpassed its ability to support the 130 officers and 30 non-sworn personnel assigned to the station. The 25,305-square-foot station, which also houses the Lee District Supervisor’s Office and the Franconia Museum, has exceeded its intended life cycle and requires extensive renovations to meet current operational needs. This project would provide for a more efficient station including interview rooms, a property evidence room, locker rooms, wellness/exercise room, office space and adequate parking to support specialty units conducting operations within the district.
What are bonds? https://youtu.be/nAoIhDTbTzg