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Infrastructure committee presents recommendations

The Infrastructure Financing Committee, a joint School Board and Board of Supervisors committee, is recommending that the two bodies should make building maintenance a budgetary priority.

The committee, which spent several months reviewing the county and school facility needs and the possible financing mechanisms for achieving needed upgrades and new facilities.

Another major recommendation is that both the county and school system establish a capital sinking fund, where they would set aside a percentage of the money left at the end of each budget year for future infrastructure needs, and that the Board of Supervisors begin dedicating about $20 million per year to immediate needs.

“It is a plan that, over time, puts us on the path of financing what is the most critical,” said Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock), co-chairman of the committee.

The committee’s efforts also led to county and school system finance staff developing common terminology to differentiate between new construction, major renovations and cyclical repairs like roof replacement.

“That is not a trivial point,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee). “That is a big accomplishment of this committee, getting both staffs on the same page.”

Candidates set for Herndon town elections

The candidates are set for the Town of Herndon elections on May 6.

Herndon has two candidates for mayor — Vice Mayor Connie Hutchinson and current Mayor Lisa C. Merkel.

There are 11 candidates for the six Town Council seats for the 2014-2016 term: Jennifer Baker, Eric Boll, Jeffrey Davidson, Dave Kirby, Steven Lee Mitchell, Rick Nagel, Sheila Olem, Jasbinder Singh, Charlie Waddell, David Webster II and Grace Wolf. Kirby, Olem, Waddell and Wolf currently serve on the Town Council.

The deadline to register to vote in this election is April 14. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 29.

More farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits

This year, there will be four Fairfax County Farmers Markets that accept federal food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The county received two grants for 2014, allowing it to expand the program.

Locations accepting SNAP benefits include the Reston, Lorton and McCutcheon/Mount Vernon farmers markets, as well as the Farm Stand at Frying Pan Farm Park.

The three Fairfax County Farmers Markets will offer matching dollar programs, in which the amount of money spent by SNAP recipients will be matched up to $10 for fruits and vegetables. The Farm Stand at Frying Pan Farm Park will not participate in the matching dollar program this year.

The matching dollars programs at Lorton and McCutcheon/Mount Vernon markets are supported by Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. The matching dollars program at Reston is supported by INOVA.