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Loudoun County proposes changes to Lahood Compromise on Metro's Dulles extension

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The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 7-2 today to accept U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s mediated proposal, with modifications, to resolve issues on the Metrorail expansion to Dulles Airport.

LaHood has become involved with regional leaders in the debate and has proposed a funding plan for the project to reduce the cost of the $3.5 billion rail project.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York will take the board’s recommendations to a meeting with LaHood and the other funding partners at a meeting on Wednesday.

No binding decisions about the future of the Silver Line were made today. But the supervisors reaffirmed their opposition to the underground station.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the WMAA offices and they are expected to discuss the Loudoun vote.

Gov. Robert McDonnell said last week that Virginia wouldn’t contribute more funds to the project.

A statement issued by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors details the modifications they want made to the compromise proposal by La Hood:

The Board voted to accept the compromise proposal with the following conditions:

• Loudoun will make a reasonable and best effort to assemble a financial option for the three parking garages in Loudoun County, thereby taking the cost of the garages out of the project.

• This reduced project scope is contingent upon either a private sector partner and/or the Commonwealth guaranteeing and backing the cost of the parking garages or other alternative financing options that require no local tax funding support, as well as the realization of funding through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). If Loudoun is successful in these efforts, the costs will be removed from the project. If not, they remain a project cost shared by all parties.

• The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) accepts the amended compromise proposal, including the above-ground station; and that Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia accept the amended compromise proposal.

• MWAA donates the land for the parking garage at the Route 606 station.

• The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) considers reducing their standards for parking garages at Metro stations and considers alternate parking fees for the garages in Loudoun County.

The Board also re-affirmed its earlier rejection of the offer by MWAA to maintain an underground station by financing the differential for only Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, but not reducing the burden on Dulles Toll Road users. Also, the Board made it clear that Loudoun County still has the 90-day window to "opt-out" of the project, if desired, once the milestone known as 100% Preliminary Engineering is reached.

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