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Stafford County holding forum to answer your transportation bond questions

From Stafford County:

A Transportation Bond Town Hall will be held on October 24, 2019, for residents to come speak and find out more about Stafford’s 2019 Transportation Bond Referendum. The meeting takes place at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Residents should also expect to see a mailer in the next few weeks providing additional information and resources to make an informed vote in the November 5, 2019 General Election.

Stafford County voters will be asked to consider a $50 million transportation bond referendum. The money would be used to help leverage multiple sources of funding to potentially complete $140 million in road projects; eight major projects and 35 widening and safety improvement projects.

While the referendum sets maximum limits for borrowing money, the County is not required to borrow the full amount. If the proposed transportation bond is approved by voters, projects will be initiated, constructed and financed over several years. Stafford County is among only 47 counties in the nation that have the highest credit rating possible for a local government, and the County’s Triple-AAA bond rating lowers its borrowing costs. The County has four revenue streams dedicated to transportation, including gasoline sales tax, state recordation tax, interest earnings and transportation impact fees. By monitoring the annual spending needs and not issuing all the bond debt at one time, the County can draw from these funding sources to pay the debt service.

Stafford has traditionally not been in the road-building business, as the Virginia Department of Transportation is technically responsible for the building and maintenance of roads in the County. In recent years, starting with the 2008 Transportation Bond referendum, the County has taken on its own road projects in an effort to manage traffic and congestion issues brought on by the rapid growth in population. Voters approved a $70 million bond in the 2008 Transporation Bond referendum. Using only $24 million, Stafford County initiated and helped fund 15 of the proposed 19 transportation projects and 43.5 of the proposed 55 total lane miles proposed in the transportation bond. During one of the country’s worst economic recessions, Stafford  County leveraged approximately $100 million from state and federal funds with $16.4 million from additional County funds outside of bond proceeds to ensure the completion of the road improvement projects.

To find out where to vote, call the Voter Registrar’s Office at (540) 658-4000 or visit the Registrar’s website at www.staffordcountyva.gov/voting. For more information, please visit the 2019 Bond Referendum webpage at www.staffordcountyva.gov/bond.

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