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County seeks to fast-track creation of new Tysons ‘anchor’ organization

Tysons water tower (file photo)

The Tysons Partnership isn’t sure what form it will take next, but Fairfax County has some cash on hand to help the nonprofit organization figure that out.

The Board of Supervisors will decide on June 28 whether to allocate $125,000 to establish an “anchor” organization that will assume the partnership’s work advocating for Tysons and overseeing the implementation of Fairfax County’s comprehensive plan.

The funds will come from a $1 million Economic Opportunity Reserve (EOR) grant that the board nominated the Tysons Partnership for in December 2020.

“This is still a work in progress, but we’re trying to make sure we’re able to keep moving forward,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said during the board’s meeting on Tuesday (June 7).

Approved by the board 8-0 with two members absent at the time, Palchik’s proposal directs staff to schedule a formal vote later this month and outlines how the funds will be used to create a new nonprofit corporation representing Tysons.

As shared at an economic initiatives committee meeting on May 17, Tysons Partnership has been searching for a more sustainable governance and funding model to support local events, placemaking, transportation advocacy efforts, marketing, and economic development research.

Partnership leaders and county staff suggested the new organization could be similar to a business improvement district, which taxes businesses to support projects in the district, but it will focus more on the overall community, not just commercial property owners.

Under the proposed work plan, the allocated EOR funds will be used to lay the groundwork for Tysons Partnership’s successor:

  • $50,000 to establish the new corporation
  • $25,000 for administrative, financial, and personnel needs, including executive leader recruitment efforts
  • $25,000 to develop an initial strategic plan and identify the organization’s priorities
  • $25,000 to develop a communications plan and enhance the group’s social media presence

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, one of several co-sponsors on Palchik’s board matter, said he appreciated the breakdown of how the requested funds will be spent.

“We’re getting into some unprecedented things, things we haven’t done before, and my comfort level…is much higher knowing this level of detail,” Foust said.

According to the board matter, Fairfax County has officially given Tysons Partnership $250,000 in EOR funds. That means $750,000 out of the $1 million grant is still available.

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