County Board - County Staff Discuss Selling Nature Centers, Libraries, Community Centers at Off-Site Meeting
The County Board, County Manager, and County Staff took a break today from budget work sessions to hold an off-site work session at WETA's headquarters in Shirlington about selling off "excess" County Property
Besides the branch libraries, like Cherrydale, being sold the County Board, County Manager, and County Staff (most of whom don't live in Arlington) discussed disposing of the following properties: Woodmont Center, Lubber Run Recreation Center, Gunston Bubble (Shirley Playfield), Long Branch Nature Center (Glen Carlyn Park), Gulf Branch Nature Center (Gulf Branch Park), Edison Center Complex, and Madison Center. The total assessed value of the properties (excluding the branch libraries) is about $158 million and the total value of the land of the properties is $149 million. Long Branch Nature Center (which costs about $75,000 to operate) is assessed for $72 million and Gulf Branch Nature Center (which costs about $37,000 to operate) is assessed for $32 million.
As for the branch libraries, Library Director Diana Kresh believes they could be converted into storefronts or kiosks.
There was no mention of abandoning the Artisphere or reducing the amount spent on new sports, recreation, and entertainment facilities.
Several County Board members appeared not to be impressed by arguments that the County's population is growing and the County is losing open space because of redevelopment. One County Staff member said "off the record" that "Chris Zimmerman is desperate to get the Pike streetcar constructed, any way he can".
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