LOUDOUN COUNTY, November 20, 2013 — As the Metro’s new Silver Line slowly winds its way into Loudoun County that county’s officials need to begin making important decisions about how to finance the project.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors needs to make a decision on whether or not they want to federal loan through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. The loan would help to put off most of the cost until after construction is completed, but also comes with a few strings attached.
By accepting the federal loan, Loudoun County would have to commit to the construction of parking garages at both of the Silver Line’s Ashburn stations. Cost for all of Loudoun County’s Metro expenses without any planned parking garages currently stands between $260 million and $270 million, as well as a $10 million to $20 million annual operational cost. The TIFIA loan would cover $200 million.
According to Martina Williams, the county’s debt manager, the county would not have to make interest payments during the five-year construction period of the project. Furthermore, the terms allow for repayment of the principle not until five years after significant progress has been made on the project.
While these deferrals would allow for the county to collect revenues from Metrorail Service Tax Districts before having to pay for the system, the terms would also increase the total cost by way of the associated parking complexes that would need to be planned.