The Falls Church City Council found itself suddenly confronted with an overnight deadline to get the use of $1.7 million of federal grant funds for an intermodal transportation center that would include a public parking component. The Council had to consider two primary options for the location of what had be a very specific plan set for application to the federal government by Monday, and selected a site at the intersection of S. Washington and Hillwood Avenue, across the street from a proposed new commercial building that promises to contribute additional public parking.
The selection of the site came after extensive discussion of the options, and was not the first choice of all.
City Manager Wyatt Shields told the Council that he’d been told very firmly that if the submission of the plan did not occur by a hard deadline Monday, then the City would forfeit the funds that had been earmarked for the City’s use by Rep. Jim Moran in 2006.
It was ironic that the discussion of options for such a center has meandered for years, to the frustration of many who felt the need for action to spur economic development in the City’s downtown, only to suddenly confront the Council with the pressure for an immediate and final decision in one night’s deliberations.
The Council’s choice of the S. Washington location concurred with Shields’ recommendation. He noted the project would be more “‘right-sized” for that location, not requiring additional funds to optimize.