Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Environmental Impact Study (EIS) Update
In prior updates to the community and Council, City staff has discussed the request by the National Park Service (NPS) to consider the feasibility of moving the Alternative B location of the proposed Metrorail station to the west. Moving the station would remove it from NPS-owned land and the 1999 scenic easement. As of September 21, the City’s EIS consultants indicated that it was technically possible to move the tracks owned by the CSX Corporation to the west, which would place the tracks on property now occupied by a movie theater, possibly entailing removal of the theatre. The City had asked CSX Corporation to consider this option, and they have indicated their willingness to meet with City and WMATA staff to learn more and to likely ask a wide range of questions. However, this “willingness to meet” should not be construed as “willingness to agree.” The cost of this venture, which has not been estimated, may be cost prohibitive as it entails moving three active CSX-owned train tracks, and the acquisition of developable land in Potomac Yard, which could include the movie theatre.
Alexandria Health Department Provides Free Flu Vaccine
On Saturday, September 28, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) provided free flu vaccinations as part of the Last Saturday ALIVE! food distribution and the Multicultural Health Fair. The annual Multicultural Health Fair, which provides a variety of free health services to Alexandria residents, is held at the Cora Kelly Recreation Center. The fair is a collaborative effort between Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. and AHD’s Public Health Emergency Management Team, who planned and coordinated the event with support from AHD nursing staff. Other agencies participating in the event included the City’s Office of Communications and Public Information, Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. The Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps provided 22 volunteers to support the clinic. A total of 260 doses of flu vaccine were administered, along with robust community outreach on flu prevention and other public health information.
Alexandria Library Assists in Educating the Public on New Healthcare Options
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have partnered with U.S. libraries to inform patrons about the Health Insurance Marketplace. Alexandria Library staff will be providing patrons with printed and digital resources to assist in learning about their new healthcare options. Starting October 1, 2013, Americans can enroll in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act, which requires U.S. citizens and legal residents to have qualifying health coverage by January 1, 2014. Citizens can enroll online, over the phone or with a paper application. Free computers are available at the Library for patrons who wish to access online resources.
Department of Housing and Urban Development Issues Waiver to the City
On September 27, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a requested waiver allowing the City to commit federal Home Investments Partnership Program (HOME) funds to Wesley Housing for the rehabilitation of the Lynhaven Apartments. Due to recent changes to federal regulations requiring project funding be secured prior to a commitment of HOME funds, the City requested the waiver as it would be impossible for Wesley to have all sources secured by the new September 30 deadline. The City loan of $1.1 million for the rehabilitation of the 28-unit Lynhaven Apartments in Arlandria was approved by City Council on September 10. In addition to the City loan, Wesley has applied for 4 percent noncompetitive low income housing tax credits and tax exempt bonds to complete its financing package. The Virginia Housing Development Authority provided the City with a “Declaration” formally stating its intent to issue up to the requested amount of funds in tax exempt bonds as primary debt for the project.