Four days before the big vote on the Silver Line rail project, a Loudoun County supervisor who was on the fence now says he will support the rail link to Dulles Airport and beyond.
Leesburg district supervisor Ken Reid now says he will vote yes. Because four supervisors are already on record supporting the project, the Loudoun County Board would have enough votes to opt into Phase 2 of Metrorail to Dulles Airport when it convenes Tuesday morning.
So what convinced Reid, who just weeks ago was leaning toward a no vote? The board tentatively approved creating two special tax districts around the future metro stops west of the airport. Businesses that figure to benefit most from new rail would bear the expense of financing the county's $270 million commitment to the Silver Line. Reid says he backs that funding mechanism.
"It pays for everything," says Reid. "It pays for operating and maintenance, and it pays for construction."
Dulles district supervisor Matt Letourneau has been a Silver Line supporter from the beginning. He's relieved to learn there are enough votes to opt in, but reminds us the final vote is not until next week.
"History shows until the Board of Supervisors actually takes a vote on something, we don't know what the outcome is," says Letorneau.
Just two weeks ago, Reid asked for a six-month postponement of a final decision. One other supervisor, Volpe, may join Reid in coming off the fence to support the project, but she refuses to say which way she is leaning.