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In order to assess the technical and financial analyses required for a potential new Metrorail Station in Potomac Yard, the City Council established a Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group in 2009, to include two members of City Council, one member of the Planning Commission, one member of the Potomac Yard Planning Advisory Group, and one member of the Transportation Commission. The following were appointed as Metro Work Group members by the chairs of each respective group:
- City Council—William Euille and Kerry Donley
- Planning Commission—Eric Wagner
- Potomac Yard Planning Advisory Group—Noah Teates
- Transportation Commission—Jennifer Mitchell
The mission of the group was to analyze the financial tools, risks and fiscal impacts of funding the Metrorail station, to examine concept refinement and constructability of a new station, to review construction costs, and to evaluate potential ridership. The work group received staff and consultant briefings on the Metrorail station feasibility studies, reviewed options and priorities, and ensured necessary technical questions were answered regarding funding, concept refinement, ridership and constructability.. The group met on a regular and as needed basis throughout 2009, and the process was coordinated with the Potomac Yard Planning Advisory Group process.
The Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group held its final meeting on December 14, 2009. The guiding principles of the Work Group are as follows:
- For the purpose of future NEPA environmental studies, continue studying options within the envelope of the northern station locations and the existing station reservation site (A). The C and D options should be removed from further consideration.
The northern station envelope encompasses the maximum footprint, including permanent maintenance easements, which would be required for the construction of a station along the Metrorail alignment north of the existing station reservation.
- The existing transportation infrastructure cannot support the Landbay F proposed development. Construction of the Metrorail station is required to support the level of development proposed in Landbay F.
- Amendments to the Master Plan and the rezoning of Landbay F cannot go forward until the City is satisfied that an acceptable financing plan has been developed and agreed to.
- The financial risk to the City must be carefully structured and managed.
Terms and conditions in contracts and land use approval actions need to be carefully and clearly detailed so all parties understand expectations and obligations, and therefore the financial risks to the City are mitigated.
- No negative cash impact on the City’s General Fund in any given year.
The projected “gap” between the anticipated tax revenues from the special tax district, per square foot developer contributions, plus additional incremental net n new revenues generated by the project, will need to be “bridged” in the early years of the bond financing by firm and sufficient upfront Landbay F payments, so there will be no negative cash impact on the City’s General Fund in any given year.
- Any proposed financing must be conservative with a sound financing structure and shared risk.
The proposed financing must not put at risk the City’s AAA/Aaa bond ratings, as well as projections used for the Metrorail station construction costs, as well as the project build-out timetable and resultant projected tax revenues need to utilize conservative assumptions, so that the downside risks can be minimized. Some of the downside risks also need to be shared by the participating parties.
- December 14, 2009
- November 9, 2009
- September 21, 2009
- May 19, 2009
- April 15, 2009
- February 19, 2009