Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Thursday, January 9, 2014

RCC Pool Referendum Unlikely in 2014, RestonNow, January 9, 2014

RestonNow's Karen Goff reports that RCC (& FCPA?) are unlikely to seek a referendum for an aquatics center in Reston this year.  Here are some excepts from the article:
A referendum on whether to build a new Reston Community Center facility is unlikely to happen in 2014, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says.
The board has been discussing the idea of adding a new recreation center with a 50-meter indoor pool with residents and consultants with Brailsford & Dunlavey since February of 2013. RCC’s current indoor pool, at Hunters Woods, is 35 years old and need of modernization, RCC’s board of governors says. The board has proposed building an additional pool and rec center at Baron Cameron Park or at the area known as Town Center North.
RCC had hoped to be able to present the idea to Small Tax District 5 voters this year. However, Gordon says there still needs to be three-to-six months of more discussion before the plan can move forward, which means if RCC decides to move forward it would not be put to a referendum vote by November. It also would not be cost-effective to hold a special ballot, she said. . .
Gordon said one of the ideas coming out of a two-day RCC Board of Governors retreat last week was the need to examine pricing and cost recovery scenarios. RCC’s usage fees have remained lower than most area facilities, and phasing in increases over the next several years would allow for less of a tax burden on residents if the project proceeds. . . .
RCA and Reston 2020 have repeatedly reported that the proposed aquatic center is cost-ineffective based on its own consultants' multiple reports.   (For example, see RCA's report last spring on the recreation center initiative and Terry Maynard's comment at last week's RCC strategic planning offsite.)  According to Brailsford & Dunlavey,, a "successful" recreation center recovers all its operating costs through revenues from program fees, etc.  In fact, County recreation centers recover 114% of their operating costs according to one B&D report.  The best any of the options presented to RCC Board of Governors could achieve was 71% (excluding a 150M square foot rec center that included indoor tennis) for a couple of alternative rec centers in the mid-80 thousands of square feet in size.  We appreciate that the RCC has officially recognized the pricing and recovery shortfalls of all the alternatives it has considered.

Still, this RCC move does not address the FCPA's and RCC's current plan to include a major Reston recreation center as part of the draft County Baron Cameron Park 10-year plan.  This plan will be posted on the FCPA website on or about January 15, 2014, according to Bill Bouie, FCPA Board Chair and member of the RCC Board of Governors.  It will go before the FCPA Board on January 22 for preliminary review.  If the concept garners FCPA Board approval, a time will be set for a public meeting to present the plan followed by a 30-day public comment period.  Then the Parks Board will vote to approve the Plan, including a rec center in the Baron Cameron Park.

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