Arlington County Council took action at its July meeting to create a fairer system for valuing our workforce while ensuring customer service remains a top priority by passing an ordinance on collective bargaining and ensuring that prevailing wages are paid on county projects. The Council also provided funds to preserve affordable housing and officially changed the name from Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard.
“The actions of the Board of Directors today are helping make our community inclusive,” said County Board Chairman Matt de Ferranti. “From renaming a main county road to ensuring quality housing for After of our residents and by ensuring that our employees have a voice in working conditions, today we are showing that Arlington is a place where everyone is valued and respected.
County council authorizes collective bargaining
The council voted 5-0 to allow collective bargaining, approving a balanced ordinance that will give eligible employees a voice in workplace discussions while also allowing the county manager and staff to carry out the business of the government. The council’s action followed a public hearing and ongoing discussions between county leaders and representatives of employee associations to resolve several issues since the motion was first released in June.
The practice of conferring on a range of subjects with employees has been consistent with the practice of county management for many years; however, formalizing this process should promote greater satisfaction and stability in the workplace. About two-thirds of county employees will be eligible to participate in collective bargaining, which is expected to be implemented from fiscal year 2024.
Adoption of a current salary
With a 5-0 vote, council passed a wage provision in effect in the Arlington County purchase resolution for construction contracts of $ 250,000 or more, solicited on or after January 1, 2022. The amount of the contract was changed from the initially proposed amount of $ 1.5. M. The prevailing wage rates provide a minimum wage level required for any project falling under an ordinance. The Virginia Commissioner of Labor and Industry determines the rates based on the determinations of wage rates in effect by the United States Secretary of Labor under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act.
Return to Earning an Approved Grant
The board also approved a Virginia Community College System Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Return to Earn grant designed to help individuals re-enter the workforce. The grant, totaling over $ 130,000, will match payments of up to $ 500 from eligible small businesses located in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria for new hires to cover ongoing costs childcare, transportation or other barriers to re-employment. The program will be administered by the Alexandria / Arlington Regional Workforce Council.
Preserving affordable and accessible housing
With a 5-0 vote, the board of directors allocated up to $ 22.76 million for an Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) loan for a large Park Shirlington apartments renovation project. In addition, the board approved the extension of the existing $ 6 million AHIF loan to the property from August 2021 to January 2022 and to allocate an additional $ 124,000 in tenant assistance funds to eligible existing residents of the park. Shirlington to offset rent increases due to these renovations.
Amazon deal to facilitate affordable housing
Additionally, the board of directors has approved a deal with Amazon in which the company will donate a $ 40 million undeveloped plot of land at the Crystal House Apartments site in the county.with the aim of developing new affordable housing. More than 550 units are planned to be developed as affordable for moderate to low income households, of which at least 148 residential units will be reserved for households earning 50% or less of the region’s median income (MAI), and at least 406 of the Residential units will be assigned to households earning 80% or less of the MAI on site by January 1, 2028. Learn more.
Rename route 29
The Council voted unanimously to officially rename the american route 29 to Langston Boulevard within Arlington County limits between North Lynn Street to the western boundary of Arlington County with the Church of the Town of Falls. The renaming of Route 29, known as Lee Highway throughout the county, comes after the Lee Highway Alliance task force of residents and business owners tried to come up with a name that better reflects the values County of Arlington, promotes fairness and welcomes everyone. who work, live and / or visit the hallway.
The task force created an objective set of evaluation criteria to ensure that the public name selection process was transparent, inclusive, and reflected a commitment to the values of public engagement in Arlington. With the new name of Langston Boulevard, the costs for the new signage are estimated at $ 300,000, subject to final design and determination by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Investing to help make Arlington more sustainable
To help meet some of the renewable energy commitments in the community energy plan, the council approved a solar power purchase agreement to install solar panels at the Lubber Run Community Center. This effort will provide renewable energy to the county for the next 30 years, bringing the building’s performance as close to net-zero energy as possible today.