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Airports Authority to vote on toll increase next month

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors will make a preliminary recommendation in June on rates for the next few years on the Dulles Toll Road. The toll revenues are being used to help fund the $5.8 billion Silver Line through Tysons Corner, Reston and Herndon to Dulles International Airport.

Authority staff and consultants are weighing several different tolling options.

One option would double the cost of a trip on the toll road to $4.50 next year and maintain that rate through at least 2015. This assumes the Metrorail project receives no additional funding from Virginia, which tentatively has pledged $150 million to buy down tolls.

Other options would offer a more gradual toll increase of $2.75 per trip in 2013, $3.50 in 2014 and $4.50 in 2015, or maintaining a flat $3.50 rate for the next three years. Both of these options would rely on the additional $150 million from the state.

The Airports Authority board’s Dulles Corridor Committee will decide at its June meeting which proposed rates to advertise to the public. Citizens will then have the opportunity to weigh in during public meetings tentatively scheduled for July and August.

Board member Robert Brown suggested the authority consider a dual track rate increase plan, so the board has options, depending on whether Virginia officials allocate the $150 million.

New Kingstowne Park master plan approved

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a new master plan for Kingstowne Park in Alexandria.

The 75-acre park on Telegraph Road contains trails, natural areas and extensive stormwater ponds and wetlands. A dam failure in 2010 drained two of the ponds on the site.

The revised plan envisions a neighborhood preserve with a more extensive trail network, new stormwater management, wildlife habitat and opportunities for stewardship education.

The county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is designing repairs to the existing failed dam and upgrading two of the ponds to serve as storm water management facilities.

Potomac named most endangered river

The group American Rivers has named the Potomac River the most endangered river in the U.S. American Rivers is lobbying against loosening of federal clean water regulations.

In addition to recreation, the river provides drinking water to about 5 million people in the region.

10 local companies on Fortune 500 list

ITT Exelis — which spun off from ITT Corporation in 2011 and established its headquarters in Tysons Corner — is the 10th Fairfax County company to crack Fortune magazine’s list of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S. The 2012 list is in the May 21 edition of Fortune.

Fairfax County has more companies on the list than 34 states, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Fairfax also is in the top 10 counties with the most ranked headquarters.

Fortune based its rankings on annual revenue in 2011. The Fairfax-based companies are Freddie Mac (No. 25), General Dynamics (No. 92), Northrop Grumman (No. 104), Capital One (No. 148), CSC (No. 162), SAIC (No. 245), NII Holdings (No. 369 ), ITT Exelis (No. 422), Booz Allen Holding (No. 439) and Gannett, Inc. ( No. 465).

In addition, Exxon Mobil, which maintains its refining, retailing and marketing headquarters in Fairfax County, tops the 2012 list.

“Thirty years ago no Fortune 500 companies were based here, but now 2 percent of the largest companies in the nation are headquartered in one place — Fairfax County,” said Gerald L. Gordon president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.