Fire Station 210 and Impound Lot
On January 23, the Fire Department and General Services Department jointly made a community presentation about plans for a new Fire Station 210 and an improved Impound Lot on Eisenhower Avenue. They presented an overview of the planning process and concept for the site plan, a discussion of next steps, and a timeline for construction. The new fire station and impound lot are scheduled for completion by the winter of 2014.
City of Alexandria and Alexandria City Public Schools Facility and Outdoor Maintenance and Use Agreement Approved
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) have updated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that provides clear communication between the Departments of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities (RP&CA); General Services; Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES); and ACPS. The MOU specifies maintenance responsibilities in RPCA areas, ACPS areas, and shared areas within each facility, and identifies outdoor maintenance levels and responsibilities.
VDHA Housing Tax Credit Application
The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) has begun the application process for housing tax credits from the Virginia Housing Development Authority. ARHA will apply for credits for the next phase of James Bland redevelopment, and Council has already approved the necessary Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the James Bland application. The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) will apply for the rehabilitation of Longview Terrace on Seay Street (which they obtained from a transfer from RPJ Housing in 2011). AHDC has initiated discussions with the neighborhood regarding a parking reduction for Longview (because the current Longview parking does not meet Code), and a public hearing on the parking reduction issue is scheduled for Council's March 13 legislative meeting.
King Street Lighting Program Extension
Each holiday season, the City of Alexandria installs lights in approximately 250 trees along the King Street corridor and around City Hall. In FY 2011, the King Street Lighting Program, established to operate one week before Thanksgiving through the end of January, was extended by City Council to continue through March 2011. In FY 2012, the lighting program began the week before Thanksgiving and was scheduled to end on January 31, 2012. The City Manager has decided to extend the Lighting Program, consistent with budget appropriations, through March 2012.
Alexandria Library 75th Anniversary
On August 20, 2012, the Alexandria Library will celebrate 75 years as a public library system. In recognition of its 75th Anniversary, the Library will host a number of programs throughout 2012. The kick-off event was held on January 28, from 1–3 p.m., at the Beatley Central Library. Author and former Chief Historian Robert K. Krick, of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, gave a lecture, entitled "Robert E. Lee and His Detractors in the Age of the Anti-Hero." The Library's Special Collections also displayed a newly acquired letter penned by Robert E. Lee, donated by William F. Smith and Leith Smith.
Substance Abuse Presentation to the Alexandria Quality of Life Committee
The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) Clinical and Emergency Services staff and Police Vice and Narcotics staff made a presentation at the Alexandria Quality of Life Committee meeting on January 27. They provided an update on the status of substance abuse prevention and enforcement efforts in the City. Substance abuse related offenses are on the rise, particularly in the West End.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Department of Community and Human Services staff have begun providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and certification for laypersons and paraprofessionals in Alexandria. MHFA is a 12-hour training on skills to help persons who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Currently, training is being offered to staff of Alexandria homeless shelters. In the future, training will be offered for members of the public, City departments, the business community and other interested groups.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Symposium
Get the facts on HIV/AIDS in the African American community. In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (observed February 7) the City is co-sponsoring an education and information symposium with Alleyne AME Zion Church and the NAACP Alexandria Branch on Saturday, February 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event will be held at the Alleyne AME Zion Church, 1419 King St.
Alexandria Commission for the Arts Seeks Nominations for the 2012 Alex Arts Awards
The Alex Arts Awards program recognizes individuals, organizations, schools, and businesses that have made exceptional contributions to cultural life in the City of Alexandria, and promotes interest and involvement in the arts by recognizing those who have excelled in their contribution to the arts in Alexandria. The nominations deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, February 10. Nominations may be submitted online at http://survey.alexandriava.gov/s3/AlexAwards or mailed or hand delivered to the Office of the Arts at the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery Public Art Project Update
The Selection Panel for the Contrabands' and Freedmen's Cemetery Public Art Project met on Saturday, January 28, 2012 to review applications submitted as a result of the Request For Qualifications. The Panel narrowed the field of artists to the top three. Upon approval by the Director of Purchasing, the artists will be notified of their selection and will begin work on their proposals. It is anticipated that the public comment period will begin in April or May when the artists present their proposals to the Selection Panel. The public will be invited to a reception to meet the artists and view the proposals. Following the reception, the models will be on display for at least two weeks to provide opportunity for additional public comments at a location to be announced. The goal is to have the recommended finalist presented to City Council in June.
Sheriff's Inmate Work Detail Update
During November and December, the Sheriff's Inmate Work Detail completed dozens of community service projects throughout the City. Typically, three Inmate Work Detail crews, comprised of four to five inmates per group, perform many maintenance tasks, such as mowing, leaf collection, litter patrol, and other special projects.